CBSE Class 6 Social Science History Revision Notes Chapter 3

CBSE Class 6 History Chapter 3 Notes – In the Earliest Cities

CBSE Class 6 History Chapter 3 Notes are concise notes prepared for students to facilitate learning. These notes elaborate on the Harappan civilisation, including the construction of houses, streets and drains. It also discusses the new crafts and food consumed by Harappans. Class 6 History Chapter 3 Notes comprehensively cover all of the topics, which makes them ideal to refer to before the exams.

Students can refer to Class 6 History Chapter 3 Notes for an in-depth understanding of the concepts and score better in the examination. Extramarks provides these revision notes that are easily accessible from the website. These notes are written by subject matter experts and comply with the revised NCERT guidelines and syllabus. 

In the Earliest Cities Class, 6 Notes History Chapter 3

Access Class 6 Social Studies Chapter 3 in The Earliest Cities

The Story of Harappa

A modern city called Harappa is situated in what is presently known as Pakistan. The East India Company accidentally found Harappa while constructing a railway in 1856. Initially, the workers considered it to be debris of an ordinary broken city and started using the bricks for construction projects. Archaeologists understood that it did not belong to one of the ordinary ruins over eighty years ago and began exploring the remains. 

Harappa- The Architectural Wonder

Harappa was exceptional due to its distinctive urban planning as well as its style of construction at that period. The architectural work was ahead of its time. It was classified into 2 parts:

  1. Citadel: The citadel was smaller in size and positioned higher in comparison to the lower town. It was located in the western part of the city.
  2. Lower Town: The lower town was situated on the east and larger in comparison to the citadel. 

To construct houses, baked bricks were used. These bricks were quite sturdy and durable, which could last for over a thousand years. 

Buildings were situated in an interconnected pattern. This type of durable building was established in the upper town called the citadel. 

The Great Bath was one of the well-known baths discovered by archaeologists. This bath was situated in the citadel.

Lothal and Mohenjodaro were some other cities that belonged to the Harappan civilisation.

Houses, Streets, and Drains

  • Nearly all the houses in the civilisation had a detached bathroom, and the water was used from the wells.
  • A decent drainage system was prevalent in numerous cities. Water could flow through the drains as they had a gentle slope.
  • The houses, streets and drains were built all together.

Life in Harappa

Harappa was a bustling, civilised settlement. Several components led to the societal formation of the city, such as that given below:

  • Rulers: The establishment of buildings was decided by the rulers. Rulers sent people to far-off lands to acquire metals, precious stones and other necessary things. 
  • Scribes: Seals were made with the help of the scribes. They were adept at writing, and wrote on several materials that have not survived to date. 
  • Different kinds of crafts were made by women and men. It is assumed that children in the Harappan cities played with toys as a lot of terracotta toys were discovered.

New Crafts in the City

  • Articles made with shells, silver, gold and stones were discovered in the remnants of the cities. 
  • A metal alloy like bronze and metal like copper were used to make weapons, vessels,  tools and ornaments.
  • Ornaments were made out of silver and gold.
  • Stones of rectangular shapes were used to make a seal for the Harappan people. These seals had pictures of animals on it. 
  • Black designs were used while designing pots.
  • Silver vases and copper objects were connected to pieces of cloth.
  • Spindle whorls were used to spin threads. These whorls were made of faience and terracotta as discovered by the archaeologists. 

Raw Materials

  • Herders or farmers produced raw materials and discovered them instinctively. Finished goods were produced with locally-sourced raw materials. Nonetheless, several items like silver, gold, tin and copper were essential metals and imported from far-off places. 
  • Copper was bought from a place that is now called Rajasthan as well as from Oman.
  • Tin was combined with other metals like copper and further used to form an alloy named bronze. Iran and Afghanistan are the current-day places from where these metals were transported. 
  • The Harappans imported gold from a place that is currently called Karnataka and other valuable stones from a place currently called Iran, Gujarat and Afghanistan.

Food Habit of the People

  • People in the Harappa civilisation raised animals and cultivated crops such as mustard,  rice, sesame, linseed,  pulses, peas, barley and wheat. 
  • The soil was turned around and seeds were sown using the plough.
  • Water was conserved and later provided to fields.
  • Animals like sheep, buffalo, cattle and goats were reared by Harappans. Animals were utilised to obtain water and food from long distances during the dry season. 
  • People of the Harappan civilisation also cultivated different fruits such as berries. They also did activities such as fishing and hunting of wild animals such as antelopes.

A Closer Look at the Harappan Sites

Dholavira and Lothal are the two central urban settlements in Harappa. 


  • In 1990, the city of Dholavira was uncovered by RS Bisht and his team. It was situated in Gujarat near the Rann of Kutch. Dholavira was one of the greatest urban settlements of the Harappan Civilisation and the Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • The city was classified into three categories, out of which two were safeguarded by rectangular shape fortifications. A variety of unique stones were employed in the city’s construction. 
  • Archaeologists have discovered different pieces of evidence. One of them stated that the Harappan script included large letters. The discovery of irrigation, embankments, and dams portray irrigation activities that were carried out. Dholavira also included warehouse settlements


  • In 1957, Lothal was unveiled by S.R. Rao. On the banks of the River Bhagava, the Indus valley is located. Various semi-precious stones and other raw materials were found at Lothal. There were many storehouses located in Lothal. Seals and their impressions were discovered in these storehouses.  is situated in the town’s money jurisdiction and is given the name of an old mound.
  • Archaeologists also excavated a building that was probably used for bead-making, as suggested by the findings of half-made beads, finished beads, pieces of stone and the necessary tools.  
  • An ancient brick dockyard is the only present in Lothal. The brick walls are placed around the dockyard to safeguard them from heavy floods. The first tidal port was discovered in the city of Lothal.

The Mystery behind the End of the Harappan Civilisation

  • A major change took place around 3900 years ago, which led to the beginning of a change in civilisation.
  • People stopped using weights, writing and seals. There was a dearth of raw materials.
  • Many changes were visible in Mohenjo Daro- garbage was heaped up on the street,  beautiful buildings were no longer constructed and the drainage system was broken.

The End of Civilisation

  • No one knew the cause of the decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Various reasons were brought up for the breakdown by numerous scholars.
  • Climate change is the foremost reason that could have caused a decline in civilisation as well as an agricultural disaster that led to an excessive change in the environment, which gradually resulted in overexploitation and decline in a population. 
  • Some scholars proposed that other environmental modifications like tectonic events could have led to the decline by causing floods in the city, therefore, damaging the city and its people.
  • There was also a probability that the annexation of Iran or tribal people from the hilly regions.
  • Another reason could be an epidemic. A virulent disease may have emerged and spread among people, which gradually killed all the Harappans.

Important Questions and Answers

  1. How did archaeologists come to the conclusion that the people of the Harappan Civilisation used cloth?

Ans: Researchers and archaeologists discovered that around 8,000 years ago, the cloth was used for the first time in Mehrgarh. Lothal’s silver bottle caps and copper goods had cloth pieces present in them. Spindle whorls for spinning threads were discovered by researchers. These whorls were made of faience and terracotta. Garments that were of the Indus Valley era were also decorated. For instance, a statue of a significant leader of the Indus Valley civilisation had visibly worn clothes.

  1. State some causes for the decline of the Harappan Civilisation as per the scholars.

Ans: Scholars have stated certain explanations for the decline of the Harappan Civilisation:

  • Some scholars proposed that natural calamities such as earthquakes and floods or an epidemic  may have caused the decline of the Harappan civilisation. 
  • Foreign traders may have annexed the city, which might have led to the downfall of civilisation. The Aryan invasion could have caused the decline of the Harappan civilization as per the archaeologists.
  • One of the causes could be the change in the flow of the river which could have led to a drought. This may have caused a decline in the economy and the society of the Harappan Civilisation.
  1. What were the uses or benefits of the wheel, plough, metals, and writings for the Harappans?

Ans: The uses of these various articles are as follows:- 

  • Wheel:  Wheels were used to make carts by Harappans. The usage of the wheel for turning was prevalent. Potters used spinning wheels to give shape to a pot.
  • Plough: The plough was used to turn the soil and make the land capable of cultivation. 
  • Metals: The Harappan people were innovative and created several exceptional things. They made many tools by using copper and ornaments of both silver and gold. 

Scriptures: Scriptures were the essential part of the Harappan cities. The people who knew how to write were referred to as scribes. They usually aided in preparing the seals and it is assumed that they wrote on materials that did not last.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What were the different types of food items consumed by the Harappans?

A few people lived in the countryside, cultivated crops and bred animals whereas most of the people lived in the cities. Crafts persons, rulers and scribes in the cities were provided food by the farmers and herdsmen. After the discovery of the remains of plants, it is assumed that the Harappans cultivated multiple food items like pulses, wheat, barley, rice, peas, linseed, sesame and mustard. 


A plough was used to excavate the earth for tilling the soil and planting seeds. Real ploughs, which were most likely made of wood did not last. However, various toy models were discovered. It was found that a certain form of irrigation was used, as this area did not get heavy rainfall. Additionally, water was stored and used in the fields for cultivation. Cattle, goats, sheep and buffalo were raised by the Harappans. Water and pastures were accessible as they were kept near settlements. Nonetheless, large herds of animals were apparently made to move large distances to search for grass and water during the dry summer months. They also gathered fruits like ber, hunted wild animals like the antelope, and collected fishes.

2. How were the houses, drains, and streets built as per Class 6 History Chapter 3 Notes?

Houses usually had one or two storeys along with rooms constructed around a courtyard. Numerous houses had separate bathing spaces, and some of them had wells to provide water. Drains were covered in these cities. Bricks were placed in straight lines. The drains had a gentle slope which allowed water to flow. Drains from houses were mostly linked to the drains of the streets, and smaller drains were guided into larger ones. Inspection holes were present at intervals to clean them as the drains were concealed. All of the houses, drains and streets were most likely planned and built simultaneously.

3. Write a short note on life in the city of Harappa.

The city of Harappa was a bustling city. The rulers planned the establishment of exceptional buildings in the city. It is believed that people were sent by the rulers to far lands to acquire precious stones, metal and other items that they needed. They collected priceless objects such as attractive beads, gold and silver ornaments for themselves. During those ancient times, there were scribes who knew how to write and helped prepare seals. It is assumed that it was written on other materials, which may not have lasted. Other than that, artwork was created in people’s houses or special workshops, which were made by the men, women and craftspersons. There were many stories that people either travelled to distant lands and returned with raw materials. Children played with several terracotta toys that were found.