Chapter 4

In the Earliest Cities Class

Short Notes or Revision Notes

  • Harappa: Bustling city, planned buildings, traders sought raw materials, scribes made seals.

  • Indus Valley cities called Harappan cities.

  • Rediscovered in 1920s, excavated in Sindh, Punjab (present-day Pakistan).

  • Flourished since 3300 BC.

The layout of the Cities:

  • Harappan cities divided: citadel, lower town; fortified walls with interlocking bricks.

  • Streets laid straight, intersected at right angles.

  • Parallel drains, covered.

  • Citadel elevated, housed special buildings.

  • Great Bath in Mohenjodaro for bathing rituals.

  • Kalibangan, Lothal had fire altars, potentially for sacrifices.

  • Lower town: residential, one/two-storey houses around corridors.

  • Harappa discovered 80 years ago in present-day Pakistan, around 4700 years old.

  • Cities divided into citadel (west, smaller, higher) and lower town (east, larger, lower).

  • Durable bricks, strong walls due to interlocking pattern.

  • Mohenjodaro had Great Bath; fire altars, storehouses in some cities.

  • Harappan houses: 1-2 stories, wells for water, covered drains.

  • Simultaneous planning of houses, drains, streets.

  • Busy city with rulers planning, scribes making seals.

  • Craftspeople produced stone, shell, metal items, beads, blades, pots with designs, cloth.

  • Raw materials from Rajasthan, Oman, Iran.

  • Cultivation: wheat, barley, pulses, rice, sesame, linseed, mustard; plough used for digging, irrigation employed, and animal rearing.

  • Dholavira, Gujarat: Discovered large ceremonial area, Harappan script engravings.

  • Lothal: City with discovered storehouse.

  • Harappan decline 3000 years ago due to various reasons like drying up of rivers, deforestation.

  • Bronze: Tin-copper alloy.

  • Citadel: Smaller, elevated western part of Harappan cities.

  • Craftspeople: Men, women creating various items in homes or workshops.

  • Lower Town: Eastern part of Harappan cities.

  • Plough: Earth-digging tool for soil turning, seed planting.

  • Raw materials: Naturally found or farmer/herder-produced substances for manufacturing.

  • Rulers: City planners overseeing special building constructions.

  • Scribes: People who knew how to write were the scribes.

  • Around 2700 BC, i.e. 4700 years ago: Beginning of cities.

  • Around 1900 BC, i.e. 3900 years ago: Beginning of the end of these cities.

  • Around 500 BC, i.e. around 2500 years ago: Beginning of newer cities.

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