Chapter 9 Vital Villages, Thriving Towns
Fill in the blanks:
- ……. was a word used for large landowners in TamiL
- The ‘gramabhojaka’ often got his land cultivated by the…………………..
- Ploughmen were known as ………….. in Tamil .
- Most ‘grihapatis’ were………….
- slaves and workers
Describe the Junctions of the ‘gramabhojaka’. Why do you think he was powerful?
I. The Functions of the Gramabhojaka.
- In the northern part of India, the village headman was known as the gramabhojaka.
- He owned a very large piece of land and got it cultivated by his slaves and hired workers.
- He used to collect taxes from the village, by the order of the king.
- He also functioned as a judge and sometimes as a policeman.
II. Gramabhojaka as a powerful man:
- His post was hereditary. Usually, men from the same family held the position for generations.
- The gramabhojaka was generally the largest landowner.
- Generally, he had slaves and hired workers to cultivate the land.
- Besides, as he was powerful, the king often used him to collect taxes from the village.
- The gramabhojaka also functioned as a judge and sometimes as a policeman.
List the crafts persons who would have been present in both villages and cities.
The list of craftspersons who would have been present in both villages and cities is:
- Garland makers
- Statue makers.
Choose the correct answer:
(a) Ring wells were used for:
2. washing clothes
(b) Punch marked coins were made of:
(c) Mathura was important:
3. religious centre
4. forested area.
(d) ‘Shrines’ were associations of:
2. crafts persons
(c) religious centre
(d) crafts persons.
Which of the iron tools shown on page 87 (of the NCERT textbook) would have been important for agriculture? What would the other tools have been used for?
The iron tools shown on page 87 are sickle, tongs, and axe. The ones that would have been used for agriculture were—sickle and axe.
Tongs would have been used to hold things without actually touching them.
Compare the drainage system in your locality with that of the cities mentioned in the lesson. What similarities and differences do you notice?
In our locality, the drainage system includes pipes and drains.
In the lesson, it is mentioned that irrigation projects/things that were built during the time (which we have studied in the chapter) include ring wells and drains.
- Similarities. I live in a city. Our locality has a good drainage system. Every individual house or building also has a good drainage system. Archaeologists have also found some drains and garbage dumps in each of the city/town or site mentioned in the chapter and in an individual house.
- Differences or Dissimilarities. Nowadays, everything (project or work) is well- maintained and made up of good raw materials. But in early cities mud bricks and thatch had been used which might not have been survived long. We use separator and filters with modem technology which was not there earlier.
If you have seen craftspersons at work, describe in a short paragraph what they do.
[Hint. How do they get the raw materials, what kind of equipment do they use, how do they work, what happens to the finished product.]
Craftspersons at Work:
(a) Different crafts persons work in villages and cities. For example, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, carpenters, potters, weavers, etc.
(b) Craftsmen get the raw material from villages, nearby cities, and even import from far regions of India as well as from other countries.
(c) Crafts persons use different types of equipment, as required for their crafts. For example, a potter uses potter’s wheel, spade, a stick, a spin-thread, a bright-fire burning or furnace, heating, and beating metal rods.
A blacksmith uses iron and other metals, a furnace, a hammer, a big-iron rod, etc. A weaver uses a spinning wheel, cotton, needle, scissors, dye-colors, dying-vessels, etc.
A carpenter uses wood, iron, a hand-ax, borer, iron-blade, nails.
(d) How do/did they work?
Most of the craftsmen worked at their own cottage or home. Other family members used to help him. Many craftspersons formed associations known as Shrenis. Shrenis of crafts persons provided training, procured raw material, and distributed the finished product.
(e) What happened to the finished products?
After keeping a small part by the craftspersons for their own or their family’s use, they took the remaining part of production (or surplus production) to local markets or neighbour-merchants. These merchants or traders used to take the products to those parts of the country or to other countries where they were demanded by the people or foreign traders or nationals.
List (he Junctions performed by men and women who live in your city and village. In what ways are these similar to those performed by people who lived in Mathura? In what ways are they different?
In our city (or in our village) different types of functions such as domestic, officials, related with government posts or departments are performed by men and women as their daily routine.
Mathura. It was (and even today) an important religious city about 2500 years ago. It was also important because this city was located at the two main trade and travel routes. The city is known for several temples and shrines. Farmers and herders from adjoining areas provided food items etc. to the citizens who lived in the city.
Similar. In our city or village, people work as traders or merchants or farmers, as the men of the old city of Mathura performed. The women did a lot of work at home as the domestic wives or ladies perform in modem cities and villages.
Differences. People in Mathura did work for the kings and their family-members but now in cities or villages people do work to meet their daily needs or expenses.
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
Choose the correct option to complete the statements given below:
(i) The use of iron in the Indian Subcontinent began about.
(a) 2000 years ago
(b) a million years ago
(c) 3000 years ago
(d) 500 years ago.
(ii) VeUalar was the term used for
(a) Large landowners
(b) Small farmers
(c) Common people
(iii) Grambhojaka was a powerful man. He also worked as a
(d) Both (a) and (b)
(iv) Mathura is an important centre for worship of
(a) Lord Rama
(b) Lord Krishna
(c) Lord Vishnu
(d) Both (a) and (b).
(v) Between 2200 and 1900 years ago, Arikamedu was a
(a) Coastal settlement
(c) Religious place
(d) None of the above.
(i)—(c), (ii)—(a), (iii)—(d), (iv)—(b), (v)—(a).
FILL IN THE BLANKS
Fill in the blanks with appropriate words to complete each sentence.
- The post of grambhojaka was …………….
- There were independent farmers also who were known as ……………………
- …… literature was popular in Tamil Nadu.
- The Jatakas were stories preserved by …………………
- The associations of craftspersons and merchants were known as ……………………….
- Stamped red-glazed pottery was known as ………………. ware.
- Buddhist monks
State whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F).
- The plough share was used to increase agricultural production.
- Most of the grihpatis were large landowners.
- Extremely fine pottery was found in the southern part of the sub-continent,
- Shrines also served as banks where rich men and women deposited money,
- Arretine Ware was named after a city in Germany.
Match the items in column A correctly with those given in column B.
VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Where were some of the largest collections of iron tools found?
These were found in the megalithic burials,
What was the use of iron tools?
Iron tools were used for clearing forests.
What did irrigation works include?
Irrigation works included canals, wells, tanks and artificial lakes,
Mention any one function that was performed by the grama bhojaka
The grama bhojaka collected taxes from the village for the king.
How did the dasa karmakara earn a living?
They used to work on the fields owned by others.
What do you know about Jatakas?
Jatakas were stories composed by ordinary people and preserved by Buddhist monks.
What were ring wells?
Rows of pots or ceramic rings arranged one on top of the other came to be known as ring wells.
How did people use ring wells?
People used ring wells as toilets. They also used them as drains and garbage dumps.
How does wealth measured during early times?
Wealth was measured in terms of coins during early times.
What do you know about punch-marked coins?
The earliest coins were punch-marked coins, they came to be known like this because the designs were punched on to the metal like silver or copper.
How can you say that Mathura was a religious place?
One could find Buddhist monasteries and Jaina shrines in Mathura. Mathura was also a place where Lord Krishna was worshipped by the people.
Mention the occupations of people who lived in Mathura
Goldsmiths, blacksmiths, weavers, basket makers, garland makers, and perfumers.
Why were Varanasi and Madurai famous?
Varanasi and Madurai were famous for the manufacture of cloth.
What do you know about Arikamedu?
Between 2200 and 1900 years ago Aricamedu was a coastal settlement where ships unloaded goods from distant lands.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
What steps were taken to increase agricultural production? [V. Imp.]
Iron tools such as axes and iron ploughshare began to be used. Axes were used for clearing forests and the ploughshare was useful for increasing agricultural production. Apart from these new tools, irrigation was also used for this purpose. Irrigation works that were built during this time included canals, wells, tanks, and artificial lakes.
Who was the grama bhojaka? Write about him in brief.
The grama bhojaka was the village headman in the northern part of the country. His post was hereditary. He was the largest landowner in the village who kept slaves and hired workers to cultivate the land. He collected taxes from the village for the king. He also functioned as a judge and sometimes as a policeman
What do you know about Sangam literature? [V. Imp.]
Some of the earliest works in Tamil came to be known as Sangam literature. These earliest works were composed around 2300 years ago. These texts were called Sangam because they were supposed to have been composed and compiled in assemblies of poets. These assemblies were known as Sangams. They were held in the city of Madurai.
What kind of information do we get from several inscriptions found in Mathura?
The inscriptions found in Mathura record gifts made by men and women to monasteries and shrines. These were made by kings and queens, officers, merchants and craftspeople who lived the city. The inscriptions from Mathura make us aware that people were engaged in several occupations such as— weaving, basket making, garland making etc. There were also goldsmiths and blacksmiths.
What were shrenis? What functions did shrenis of crafts persons perform?[Imp.]
Shrenis were associations of craftspersons and merchants. The shrenis of crafts persons performed various functions. They provided training, procured raw material, and distributed the finished product. Then came shrenis of merchants who organised the trade. Shrenis also performed the role of banks where rich men and women deposited money.
Write a short note on Arikamedu.
Arikamedu, located in Pondicherry, was a coastal settlement between 2200 and 1900 years ago. It was a place where ships unloaded goods from distant lands. A massive brick structure which is supposed to be a warehouse was found at the site. Other discoveries include pottery from the Mediterranean region. For example, amphorae which were tall double-handled jars that contained liquids and stamped red-glued pottery, known as Arretine Ware. It was named after a city in Italy.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Describe several ways of finding out about early cities. [V. Imp.]
Several ways of finding out about early cities include Jatakas, sculpture, archaeology and travellers. Jatakas were stories composed by ordinary people and preserved by Buddhist monks. Sculptures carved scenes depicting peoples’ lives in towns and villages as well as in the forest. Many of these sculptures were used to decorate railings, pillars and gateways of buildings that were visited by people.
In many cities, archaeologists have found rows of pots or ceramic rings arranged one on top of the other. These are known as ring wells, which were used as toilets and as drains and garbage dumps. These ring wells are usually found in individual houses. The accounts of sailors and travellers also help us to know about early cities. One of the most detailed accounts that has been found was by an unknown Greek Sailor. He described all the ports he visited.
Mathura was a city with many Junctions. Explain. [V. Imp.]
Mathura has been an important city for more than 2500 years. It was important for various reasons.
It was located at the crossroads of two major routes of travel and trade – from the northwest to the east and from north to south.
- There were fortifications around the city and several shrines. Farmers and herders from adjoining areas provided food for the city people.
- Mathura was also a centre where some extremely find sculpture was produced.
- Around 2000 years ago, Mathura became the second capital of the Kushanas.
- Mathura was a religious centre also. There were Buddhist monasteries and Jaina shrines. It was also an important centre for the worship of Lord Krishna.