CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Chapter 1 Introduction What Where How And When

CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Social Science Chapter 1 Introduction What Where How And When

There are several sources of findings about the past. Historians use the information obtained from these sources to know about the lives of ancient people, including the food they ate and the different houses in which they lived. In this chapter, we will learn about where and how did people live, and about the various sources of knowing the past.

Finding The Past

There are various things that can be found about the past. For example, the food that people ate, the different kinds of clothes they wore, and the different kinds of houses in which they lived.

Information about the lives of hunters, herders, farmers, rulers, merchants, priests, craftsmen, artists, musicians, and scientists can also be found.

Class 6 History Social Science Chapter 1 Habitat Of People

  • The people lived close to the banks of the Narmada River several hundred thousand years ago.
  • Some of the earliest people were skilled gatherers i.e. the people who gathered food for themselves. They knew about the vast variety of plants and collected roots, fruits, and other forest produce for their food. They also hunted animals.
  • In some areas of the Sulaiman and Kirthar hills to the northwest, women and men first began to grow crops such as wheat and barley about 8000 years ago.
  • People also began rearing animals like sheep, goats, and cattle and lived in villages. Agriculture developed in the areas like the Garo hills to the North-East and the Vindhyas in central India. Rice was first grown in the area to the North of the Vindhyas.

Development of Cities: The Indus River and its tributaries were responsible for the development of the earliest cities about 4700 years ago.

  • In the later period, nearly 2500 years ago, the cities were developed near the banks of the Ganga river and its tributaries, like the Son, Chambal, and Yamuna rivers, and along the sea coasts.
  • The powerful Mahajanapada named Magadha (Now in Bihar) was located to the South of Ganga and its rulers were very powerful and set up a large kingdom. Kingdoms were also set up in other parts of the country.

The Purpose Of Travelling: Throughout the past, people traveled from one part of the subcontinent to another for various reasons as follows

  • People traveled from one place to another in search of their livelihood, to escape from natural calamities (floods or droughts), and to conquer other lands.
  • The merchants traveled from place to place with caravans or ships, carrying valuable goods.
  • Religious teachers moved from one place to another to deliver their religious understanding to others.
  • Some people also traveled with the spirit of adventure to find out new places.

All these led to the sharing of ideas between peoples and enriched the cultural traditions. For example, people have shared new ways of carving stones, composing music, and cooking food.

Hills, mountains, and seas form the natural frontiers of the sub-continent which sometimes makes the journeys of people difficult.

Names Of The Land: There are two words that are often used for our country-India and Bharata.

  • The origin of the word ‘India’ comes from the name of the Indus River, which is known as Sindhu in Sanskrit.
  • The Iranians and the Greeks, who came through the North-West about 2500 years ago, called the Indus the Hindos or the Indos. The land to the East of the Indos River was called India.
  • The name Bharata was used for a group of people who lived in the North-West, and who are mentioned in the Rigveda, which was composed in Sanskrit about 3500 years ago. Later the word ‘Bharata’ was used for India.

Class 6 History Social Science Chapter 1 Finding Out About The Past

There are several sources for finding out about the past. Historians i.e. scholars who study the past, often use the word source to refer to the information found in manuscripts, inscriptions, and archaeology. Historians use all these sources to find out about the past.

Manuscripts: Manuscripts are books that were written long ago. The word manuscript comes from the Latin word ‘manu which means hand.

  • Manuscripts were usually written on palm leaves or on specially prepared bark of a tree known as the birch, which grows in the Himalayas
  • Many manuscripts are preserved in temples and monasteries² while some were destroyed.
  • Manuscripts dealt with all kinds of subjects like religious beliefs and practices, the lives of kings, medicine and science, epics, poems, and plays.
  • These books were written in Sanskrit, Prakrit (the language used by ordinary people), and Tamil.

CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Social Science Chapter 1 Introduction What Where How And When A Page From A Palm Leaf Manuscript


Inscriptions:  This inscription dates to about 2250 years ago and was found in Kandahar, present-day Afghanistan. It was inscribed on the orders of a ruler named Ashoka.

This inscription was inscribed in two different scripts and languages, Greek and Aramaic, which were used in this area.

Archaeological Sources: Many objects were made and used in the past. Those who study these objects are called archaeologists.

CBSE Notes For Class 6 History Social Science Chapter 1 Introduction What Where How And When An Archaeological Source


  • They study the remains of buildings made of stone and brick, paintings, and sculptures.
  • Archaeologists explore and excavate (dig under the surface of the Earth) to find different objects like weapons, tools, pots, pans, ornaments, and coins.
  • Some of these objects may be made of stones, bones, baked clay, or metal. Objects that are made of hard substances usually survive for a long time.
  • Archaeological sources like bones of animals, birds, and fish give information regarding what people ate in the past.
  • Plant remains are less likely to survive. If seeds of grain or pieces of wood have been burnt, they survive in a charred form.

Class 6 History Social Science Chapter 1 Different Pasts for Different People

  • The past was different for different groups of people. For example, the lives of herders or farmers were different from those of kings and queens, the lives of merchants were different from those of crafts persons, etc.
  • Even today, people follow different practices and customs in different parts of the country.
  • For example, the people of the Andaman Islands get their food by fishing, hunting, and collecting forest produce while it is different for the people living in cities, who depend on others for supplies of food.
  • Generally, the kings kept their records of victories, but the ordinary people such as hunters, fishing folk, and gatherers.
  • Farmers or herders did not keep records of what they did. The archaeologists try to find out about life of the ordinary people through the objects found in the excavator

Meaning of Dates: All dates before the birth of Christ (The founder of Christianity) are counted backward and usually denoted with the letters BC which stands for Before Christ.

  • Sometimes, AD is prefixed before dates which stands for Anno Domini. It means after the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • Sometimes CE is used instead of AD which stands for Common Era and BCE instead of BC which stands for Before Common Era. Sometimes, the letters BP meaning Before Present are also used.

Leave a Comment