Notes of Chapter 1 What, Where, How and When Class 6th History

Where did people live?

• In India, the earliest people lived along the banks of the river Narmada for several hundred thousand years.

• They were skilled Gatherers and used to gather food.

• They had very vast knowledge of the plants growing around them. They also used to hunt animals for food.

• Sulaiman and Kirthar hills to the northwest of India in these areas where women and men first began to grow crops such as wheat and barley about 8000 years ago are located here. People also began rearing animals like sheep, goat, and cattle, and lived in villages.

• Garo hills to the north-east and the Vindhyas in central India. These were some of the other areas where agriculture developed. The places where rice was first grown are to the north of the Vindhyas.

• The river Indus and its tributaries (tributaries are smaller rivers that flow into a larger river). About 4700 years ago, some of the earliest cities flourished on the banks of these rivers.

• Later, about 2500 years ago, cities developed on the banks of the Ganga and its tributaries, and along the sea coasts.

• The Ganga and its tributary called the Son. In ancient times the area along these rivers to the south of the Ganga was known as Magadha now lying in the state of Bihar. Its rulers were very powerful, and set up a large kingdom.

• Travelling enriched the cultural traditions and sharing of ideas between people. People shared new ways of carving stones, composing music and cooking for several hundreds of years.

Names of the land

• The name India came from the river Indus (Sindhu in Sanskrit). 2500 years ago, the Iranians and the Greeks who came to India from the Northwest side called the river Indus as 'Hindos' or 'Indos'. And the land to the east of this river was called India.

• The name Bharata refers to a group of people who lived in North West part of India. They are also mentioned in Rig Veda some 3500 years ago. Later this name was use for the country.

Finding out about the past

• There are several ways of finding out about the past. One is to search for and read books that were written long ago. These are called manuscripts, because they were written by hand (this comes from the Latin word ‘manu’, meaning hand).

• These were usually written on palm leaf, or on the specially prepared bark of a tree known as the birch, which grows in the Himalayas.

• Many of these were written in Sanskrit, others were in Prakrit (languages used by ordinary people) and Tamil.


• These are writings on relatively hard surfaces such as stone or metal. Sometimes, kings got their orders inscribed so that people could see, read and obey them.

• There are other kinds of inscriptions as well, where men and women (including kings and queens) recorded what they did. For example, kings often kept records of victories in battle.

• An archaeologist is a person who studies the people and what they did in the past by the things they left behind.

• They look for artifacts, which are the things made by the people and these artifacts reveal more about the past. They also carry on excavations (Digging the surface of the earth)

• Archaeologists also study bones of animals, birds and fish to find out the food habits of the people of past. They even study the plant remains, but the plant remains barely survive for so long.

• The evidences found by the Archaeologists are called Features.

What do dates mean?

• CE (Common Era) or AD Anno Domini, means in the year of Lord. BCE (Before Common Era) or BC-Before Christ.

• All the dates before the birth of the Christ are counted Backwards.

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