CBSE Class 6 History Notes Chapter 4 What Books and Burials Tell Us

Class 6 Notes Social Science History Chapter 4 What Books and Burials Tell Us help you in quick revision of the chapter. Reading these notes will help you to understand the lesson more easily. Once you have understood the chapter, you can easily write the answers of the questions that may come to your exams. Ultimately, our Class 6 NCERT Notes History Chapter 4 will help you to score good marks in the exam.

What Books and Burials Tell Us Class 6 Notes Social Science History Chapter 4

  • The oldest book known all over the world is supposed to be that of the Vedas.  
  • They were written about 3,000 years back and are the earliest literary source available.

The Vedas:  

(i) The word, Veda means Knowledge. There are four Vedas: Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda.  

(ii) The Rigveda is the oldest Veda. It was composed about 3,500 years ago.

(iii) The hymns have been compared by sages. These hymns were recited and passed from one generation to another until they were written down.  

(iv) These hymns are in praise of different gods such as Indra (the god of warrior), Agni (the god of fire), Varun (the god of sky) and many others.  

How do Historians study the Rigveda:  

i) While studying about the past, historians examined written sources.  

ii) They studied the Rigveda. Most of the hymns in Rigveda were in the form of dialogues.  

iii) Historians study these dialogues to arrive at conclusions. 

Rigveda: What does it tell us about Prayers and Battlles:  

i)  Most prayers in the Rigveda are for cattle, children and horses.  

ii)  Horses were yoked to chariots and used in battles.

iii) Battles aimed to capture cattle, land, pasture, water and people.  

iv) A portion of the wealth was used for performing Yajnas or sacrifices in which offerings were put into fire, for gods including ghee, grains and rare animals.  

Words to describe people in Rigveda

Let us see some of the words used to describe people found in the Rigveda.

There are 2 groups who are described in terms of their work –

The priests: who were also called brahmins. They used to perform various rituals.

The rajas: They did not have capital cities, palaces or armies, nor did they collect taxes. Sons did not automatically succeed fathers as rajas.

Two words were used to describe the people or the community as a whole:

  1. One was jana
  2. The other was vish

The people who composed the hymns described themselves as Aryas and called their opponents Dasas or Dasyus. The term dasa means slave. Slaves were women and men who were often captured in war.

Political Life:  

i) The Vedas even tell us about political life of this sage.  

ii) The head of state was called Raja.  

iii) The Raja had no capital, palaces, armies or right to collect taxes.  


Agriculture, cattle-rearing, chariot-making, pottery, jewellary-making tanning and metal- work were the main occupations.  


(i) While Aryans composed Vedas, another group of people opposed to Vedas.  

(ii) They were called Dasas or Dasyus or slaves.  

Social Differences: Burials  

i) Archaeologists assume that objects discovered with a skeleton, probably belonged to the dead person.  

ii) In Brahmagiri, a skeleton was buried with 33gold beads, 2stone beads, and one conch shell whereas other skeleton only had a pot.  

iii) This shows the difference in status, amongst the people who were buried. Some were rich while other were poor.  

iv) Sometimes, megaliths have more than one skeleton. It indicates that people belonging to the same family were buried at same place though at different times.  

v)  Special burials took place at Inamgaon. 

vi) Animals were used as food.  

vii) Skeletoal studies tell us about better way of identifying dead bodies.

Silent sentinels – the story of the megaliths

Big stones are known as megaliths, which were arranged by people and were used to mark burial sites. The practice of erecting megaliths began about 3000 years ago and was prevalent throughout the Deccan, south India, in the north-east and Kashmir. All burials have some common features. The dead were buried with distinctive pots, which are called Black and Red Ware.

Were some burial spots meant for certain families?

People belonging to the same family were buried in the same place. Stone circles or boulders placed on the surface served as signposts to find the burial site so that people could return to the same place whenever they wanted to.

A special burial at Inamgaon

It is a site on the river Ghod, a tributary of the Bhima. Here, adults were buried in the ground. They were laid out straight with the head towards the north. Vessels that probably contained food and water were placed with the dead person.

Occupations at Inamgaon

Archaeologists have found seeds of wheat, barley, rice, pulses, millets, peas and sesame. So, these have been cultivated in agriculture. Cuts in the bones of many animals show that they have been used as food. Fruits such as ber, amla, jamun, dates and a variety of berries were used as fruits.

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