Class 6 Ch 5 History- What Books & Burials Tell Us

Sandarbha Desk
Sandarbha Desk



  • There are 4 Vedas: Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.


  • It is the oldest Veda composed about 3500 years ago.
  • It includes more than a thousand hymns, called sukta or ‘well said’, in praise of various gods and goddesses. These were composed by sages.
  • Three gods are important- Agni: the God of fire; Indra: a warrior God; and Soma: a plant from which a special drink was prepared.
  • The Rigveda is in old or Vedic Sanskrit.
  • The Rigveda was recited and heard rather than read.
  • It was written down several centuries after it was first composed and printed less than 200 years ago.

Read More: Class 6 Ch 4 History-In the Earliest Cities

Themes of Hymns in the Rigveda

  • There are many prayers for cattle, children (especially sons) and horses.
  • Battles were fought to capture cattle, land, water and for people.
  • A part of the wealth so obtained was then kept by the leaders, some was given to the priests and the rest was distributed amongst the people.
  • Some wealth was also used for performing yajnas or sacrifices.
  • There was no regular army, but there were assemblies where people met and discussed matters of war and peace.

Words to Describe People

  • Brahmins: the priests who performed various rituals.
  • Rajas: But they did not have capital cities, palaces or armies, nor did they collect taxes. Generally, sons did not automatically succeed fathers as rajas.
  • Jana: the people or community as a whole.
  • Vish: The word Vaishya comes from Vish.
  • Sometimes, the people who composed the hymns described themselves as Aryas and called their opponents Dasas or Dasyus.
  • Dasas or Dasyus were people who did not perform sacrifices and probably spoke different languages.

Other Books

  • Books that were composed after Rigveda are often called Later Vedic.
  • These include the Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.
  • These were composed by priests and described how rituals were to be performed.
  • They also contained rules about society.



  • Stone boulders carefully arranged by people and used to mark burial sites are known as megaliths.
  • The practice of erecting megaliths began about 3000 years ago and was prevalent throughout the Deccan, south India, in the north-east and Kashmir.
  • Some megaliths are on the surface, while others are often underground.
  • Generally, the dead were buried with distinctive pots which are called Black and Red Ware.
  • Tools and weapons of iron, skeletons of horses, horse equipment and ornaments of stone and gold were also found.
  • Objects found with the skeletons were an indicator of the difference in status amongst the people who were buried.

Special Burial at Inamgaon

  • This site was occupied between 3600 and 2700 years ago.
  • Adults were generally buried under the ground, laid out straight, with the head towards the north.
  • Sometimes burials were within the houses.
  • Vessels that probably contained food and water were placed with the dead.


  • About 2000 years ago, Charaka, a famous physician wrote a book on medicine known as the Charaka Samhita.
  • He states that the human body has 360 bones, a number much larger than that recognised by modern anatomy.
  • He arrived at this figure by counting the teeth, joints and cartilage.


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