Chapter 5 What Books and Burials Tell Us
1. Match the columns:
2. Megalith Complete the sentences:
- Slaves were used for…………….
- Megaliths are found in……………
- Stone circles or boulders on the surface were used to………………..
- Port-holes were used for……………
- People at Inamgaon ate…………….
- South India, north-east and Kashmir
- indicate the exact place of burial
- burying the other member of the same family at the same place
- wheat, barley, rice, pulses, millets, peas, sesame, etc.
3. In what ways are the books we read today different from the Rigveda?
Ans: The books we read today are written and printed. The Rigveda was recited and heard rather than read. For many years from generation to generation, the process continued. It was written down several centuries after it was first composed and printed less than 200 years ago.
4. What kind of evidence from burials do archaeologists use to find out whether there were social differences amongst those who were buried?
Sometimes, archaeologists find a circle of stone boulders or a single large stone standing on the ground. These are the only indications that there are burials beneath.
All these burials have some common features. Generally, the dead were buried with distinctive pots, which are called Black and Red Ware. Also found are tools and weapons of iron and sometimes, skeleton of horses, horse equipment and ornaments of stone and gold.
Several kinds of evidences from burials do archaeologists use to find out that there were social differences amongst those who were buried underneath the megaliths. They think that objects found with a skeleton probably belonged to the dead person. Sometimes more objects were found in one grave than in another. For instance in Brahmagiri, one skeleton was buried with 33 gold beads, 2 stone beads, 4 copper bangles and one conch shell. Other skeletons had only a few pots. Perhaps there were differences in status amongst the people who were buried. Perhaps some were rich, others poor, some chiefs, others followers.
5. In what ways do you think that the life of a ‘raja’ was different from that of a ‘dasa’ or ‘dasi’?
Ans: In the society, ‘raja’ was one of the highest civil positions. ‘Rajas’ were the kings of the community, whereas the ‘dasas’/’dasis’ were the lowest position in society. The ‘dasas’/’dasis’ were slaves who were used for work. They were treated as the property of their owners. They were captured in war.
6. Find out whether your school library has a collection of books on religion, and list the names of five books from this collection.
Ans: Do yourself with the help of your subject-teacher and school librarian. A sample set of five such books:
- The Mahabharata
- The Ramayana
- The Bible
- The Bhagwad Gita
- The Quran
7. Write down a short poem or song that you have memorised. Did you hear or read the poem or song? How did you learn it by heart?
Ans: Do yourself.
8. In the Rigveda, people were described in terms of the work they did and the languages they spoke. In the table below, JiR in the names of six people you know, choosing three men and three women. For each of them, mention the work they do and the language they speak. Would you like to add anything else to the description?
Ans. Do yourself.
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
Choose the correct option to complete the statements given below:
(i) The Ghoda is a tributary of the …………….
(ii) Brahmagiri is a site in modem ……………..
(a) Andhra Pradesh
(c) Uttar Pradesh
(iii) Which of these was not a category of people in the society?
(iv) Inamgaon is situated on the river
(v) The Ghoda is a tributary of the …………………
(vi) Brahmagiri is a site in modem ……………..
(a) Andhra Pradesh
(c) Uttar Pradesh
(i) – (b), (ii) – (a), (iii) – (a), (iv) – (b), (v) – (d), (vi) – (a).
FILL IN THE BLANKS
Fill in the blanks with appropriate words to complete each sentence:
- The oldest of the Vedas is ………..
- The Rigveda was composed about …….. years ago.
- The hymns in the Vedas have been referred to as ………….. which means …………….
- The major gods praised in the hymns of the Rigveda were: ……………………….and …………
- Sanskrit is part of the ………….. family of languages.
- In a hymn in the Rigveda, Vishvamitra used the word ‘sisters’ for the two rivers ……and…….
- ‘Brahmins’ and ‘Rajas’ were two groups of people in terms of…………………..
- Slaves were captured during………………..
- Stone boulders used for marking burial sites are called …………………
- Black and Red Ware are words used for…………….. that were buried with the dead.
- the Rigveda
- ‘Sukta’, well-said
- Indra, Agni, Soma
- Beas, Sutlej
State whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F).
- The Rigveda was written for the first time by hand about 3500 years ago.
- Soma was the warrior god.
- The Rigveda contains prayers for cattle, children, and horses.
- Battles were fought for land, water, and to capture people.
- Sons automatically succeeded fathers as ‘rajas’.
- Megaliths were used to mark burial sites.
- Members of families were usually buried together.
- In a hymn in the Rigveda, Vishvamitra has a dialogue with Beas and Sutlej, which were two women.
- Sanskrit and Tamil belong to the same family of languages.
Match the items given in column A correctly with those given in column B
VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. Name the four Vedas.
Ans: The four Vedas are:
- Atharvaveda ‘
2. In what language has the Rigveda been composed?
Ans: The Rigveda is in Vedic Sanskrit.
3. What were the various purposes of fighting battles as depicted by the Rigveda?
Ans: Battles were fought for cattle, land, water, and for capturing people.
4. What were the groups of people in terms of their work?
Ans: There were two groups of people in terms of their work—the ‘brahmins’ and the ‘rajas’.
5. Who were the ‘Aryas’ and the ‘Dasas’? [V. Imp.]
Ans: People who composed the hymns called themselves Aryans and they called their opponents ‘Dasas’.
6. What were megaliths? [Imp.]
Ans: Stone boulders used to mark burial sites are known as megaliths.
7. Name some areas where megaliths were prevalent.
Ans: Megaliths were prevalent in the Deccan, South India, in the North-east, and Kashmir.
8. How is it known that burial spots were meant for families?
Ans: Sometimes megaliths contain more than one skeleton. This indicates that families were buried together.
9. Where is Inamgaon situated?
Ans: Inamgaon is a site on the river Ghod, a tributary of the river Bhima.
VI.SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. Write a short note on the Rigveda. [V. Imp.]
Ans: The Rigveda is the oldest of the Vedas. It indicates over a thousand hymns in Vedic (old) Sanskrit. These hymns (called ‘Sukta’ — well said) are in praise of various gods and goddesses, mainly: Agni, Indra and Soma. These hymns were composed by sages, who learned them and made their children learn. Finally, they were printed about 200 years ago.
2. Describe in brief about how the Rigveda depicts cattle, horses, chariots, and battles.
Ans: Rigveda has prayers for cattle and horses. Horses were used in battles. Battles were fought for cattle, land, people and water. Most men took part in wars. There was not any regular army. There were assemblies where people met and discussed matters of war and peace. They chose brave warriors as their leaders.
3. Write a short note on megaliths.
Ans: Megaliths are stone boulders used to mark burial sites. They were prevalent around 3000 years ago in the Deccan, South India, in the northeast and in Kashmir. Some megaliths are seen on the surface and some are underground. Sometimes a circle of stone boulders or a single large stone is found standing on the ground, to indicate the position of burials.
4. How do megaliths show that there were social differences? [V. Imp.]
Ans: Sometimes, more objects are in found in one grave than in another. This indicates that people were buried according to their social status. In Brahmagiri, a skeleton was found with 33 gold beads, 2 stone beads, 4 copper bangles, and a conch shell. Whereas other skeletons have only few pots.
VII.LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. How have people in society been depicted in the Rigveda? [V. Imp.]
Ans: According to the Rigveda, there are two groups of people in terms of their work: (i) The priests, called Brahmins, and (ii) The ‘rajas’.
The priests performed various vituals while the ‘rajas’ ruled. These rajas’ did not, however, have capital cities, palaces or armies, nor did they collect taxes. Two words were used to refer to the people of the community as a whole — those wo^ds were ‘jana’ and Vish’.
The people who composed the hymns referred to themselves using the word ‘Aryas’ and called their opponents ‘Dasas’ or ‘Dasyus’, The ‘dasas’ were later slaves and were treated as the property of their owners.