CBSE Class 6 Social Science History Revision Notes Chapter 8

Class 6 History Chapter 8 Notes

CBSE Class 6 History Chapter 8 Notes – Vital Villages, Thriving Towns

Chapter 8 of Class 6 History “Vital Villages, Thriving Towns” is an interesting chapter to study. This chapter deals with the ancient villages that formed the very basis of civilisation and acted as important sources in constructing the history of ancient India.

Class 6 History Chapter 8 Notes make it easy to understand how village settlements prospered using iron tools and invented irrigation for production. These villages gradually developed into big cities over time. Travelogues, sculptures, coins, and other archaeological findings are the major sources of history through which scholars try to understand the lifestyle of the people, who left a deep impact on present-day civilisation.

At Extramarks, these all-in-one notes are prepared by the subject matter experts in simple language for students to easily understand the chapter. These notes follow the latest CBSE Syllabus. So, students can have direct access to updated study resources. All of the chapter’s major points are covered in the notes. Students can have a quick glance through them and revise the entire chapter in no time.

Vital Villages, Thriving Towns Class 6 Notes History Chapter 8

Access Class – 6 Social Science (History) Chapter- 8 Vital Villages, Thriving Towns Notes

Class 6 History Chapter 8 Notes

Iron Tools And Agriculture

The chapter begins with the importance of the discovery of iron. Archeological findings prove that the use of iron began about 3000 years ago in the Indian subcontinent, but it was around 2,500 years ago that its use grew rapidly in the subcontinent. Many iron tools have been discovered by archeologists at the megalithic burial sites. Some of the tools include axes and ploughshares. People were skilled at extracting iron from ores and making tools for their daily usage. They made axes to clear the forests and ploughshares to increase agricultural production.

Other Steps to Increase Production: Irrigation

This section discusses how people increased their production by inventing different methods of irrigation. Villages were small units within the kingdoms; and the prosperity of the kings and kingdoms largely depended on the revenue collected from these ancient villages. Hence, the prosperity of villages was prioritised. Irrigation was encouraged in agriculture. Canals, wells, tanks, reservoirs, and artificial lakes were some of the common irrigation methods used by the people.

Who Lived in the Villages?

This section discusses the differences prevailing in contemporary society. The evidence found during the excavations shows that mainly three kinds of people lived in the southern and northern parts of the subcontinent. They are landlords, farmers, and people employed for other work.

The landlords were influential in both parts of the subcontinent. In southern India, they were known as Vellalars. The Uzhavars were ordinary farmers who cultivated their own lands. Landless labourers and slaves also existed in the villages. They were known as Kadaisiyer and Adimai, respectively.

In the northern part of the country, there were village chiefs who owned vast tracts of land and a significant number of slaves. They were known as Gram Bhojakas. They were immensely influential and employed common people in their fields. The kings also sought their help to collect revenue from the village. They were also responsible for maintaining law and order, and dispencing justice in their respective villages. The position of the Gram Bhojaka was hereditary.

Apart from the Gram Bhojakas, there were individual farmers known as Grihapati. They were small landholders who carried out agriculture on their own lands. People like Dasas and Karmakara did not possess any land. They cultivated and worked on others’ fields. In most villages, there were some craftsmen such as potters, carpenters, blacksmiths, etc.

Finding Out about Cities: Stories, Travellers, Sculpture and Archaeology

People who lived in the cities used stories, sculpture, craft, etc. to promote their culture. These literary and archeological sources are crucial for scholars to understand the way of life of the ancient people.

Among all the literary sources, the Jataka Tales are important. They were composed by the common people, and later written down and preserved by the Buddhist monks. Sculptors recorded the stories of villages, cities, and forests in their art works, such as railings, columns, and gateways to buildings that were frequently visited by the people of those times.

The ruins of the Mahajanapadas’ capitals, which arose around 2,500 years ago, contain evidence of early cities.A few of these cities were fortified. Historians have found rows of pots and ceramic rings arranged on top of each other, known as “ring wells.” They were found in almost every household, and were used as toilets and for disposing of waste. Archeologists have hardly found the remnants of castles, markets, or the homes of common folk. Objects made of wood, bone, mud-bricks, and chalk may have decayed over time. The most detailed information about the ancient cities is found in the account of an unidentified sailor who records all the names of the ports he visited.


Coins are another valuable source of history. Archeologists have found thousands of metal coins from the excavated sites, which indicate that money was expressed in terms of coins. These coins were accepted as a mode of exchange. The punch-marked coins found in the ruins of the cities are about five hundred years old. They were available in a variety of shapes, such as round, square, and rectangle. They were either cut out of the metal sheets or made from beaten metal spheres. No inscription is found on them, but there are various symbols and shapes engraved using dies or punches. These coins have been found in most parts of the continent. A large number of punch-marked coins were in circulation until the early centuries of the Common Era.

Cities with Many Functions

Cities in ancient India were significant for the people in terms of food, trade and commerce, art and craft, etc. One such city is Mathura. It was located at the crossroads of the two main land routes of ancient India: one from the North-west to the East and another from North to the South. Farmers and herders of the surrounding areas supplied food to Mathura. Mathura was famous for its production of fine sculptures. It became the second capital of the Kushanas around two hundred years ago. This city was also important from a religious perspective. This place is sacred to the devotees of Krishna. Several Buddhist and Jain monasteries are also found there.

Crafts and Craftspersons

The people of ancient India were also famous worldwide for their crafts. A number of potteries have been found in the northern part of India. These potteries are painted black and have a smooth finish on them.  Historians call them the “Painted Black Wares.”Apart from that, Varanasi in the North and Madurai in the South were two well-known clothing production centres. Both men and women worked in these places as craftspersons.

These people often worked in groups and formed several associations known as Shrenis. These Shrenis could be compared to modern banks. Rich people deposited their money in these associations, which were further invested in various activities. The interest obtained from the investment was used to fund religious institutions.

A Closer Look – Arikamedu

Arikamedu was a significant coastal settlement from 2200 to 1900 years ago. This was the place where ships loaded and unloaded goods for foreign trade. The huge construction of bricks with storage facilities found on this site is of particular interest to historians. The pottery found here clearly indicates trade with the Mediterranean region. Other instances of the trade include a double-handled jar containing oil, wine, and other liquids. The red-glazed pottery, also known as Aredin porcelain, is also found here. It is named after a town in Italy. Lamps, glassware, Roman gems, etc. are other objects found in the place.

Did You Know?

  • Rome, one of the earliest cities on the European continent, was developed during the same time when the cities in the Gangetic plain were founded.
  • Rome was known to be a city of bricks.
  • Augustus, who ruled around 2000 years ago, transformed the city of bricks into the city of marble.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Write a brief note on the settlement of Arikamedu.

Arikamedu is an important archaeological site in Southern India that sheds light on the trade of the ancient Indian people with foreign lands. Big ships unloaded their cargo and stored it in this place. Scholars believe that the massive brick structure with the storage facility was originally a warehouse that was used for storing trade goods. The ceramics and other objects found here indicate Mediterranean and Italian trade. The site of Arikamedu is located in modern Pondicherry. Archeological studies show that this coastal settlement existed between 2200 and 1900 years ago.

2. Describe the role of the Gram Bhojaka.

The villages in North India were ruled by village chiefs known as Gram Bhojakas. They were the owners of vast lands and extremely powerful people. They employed other men in these fields for agriculture. The posts of the Gram Bhojaka and his men were occupied by  members of the same families. The Gram Bhojakas collected revenue from the villagers on behalf of the king. They had an immense influence on the lives of the villagers.

3. Why should students refer to the Class 6 History Chapter 8 Notes provided by Extramarks?

The chapter “Vital Villages, Thriving Towns” is an important chapter from the exam’s point of view. Students must understand the genesis of villages and early cities to understand the progress of civilisation on the Indian subcontinent. The notes provided by Extramarks effectively summarise and divide the chapter into smaller segments to help students learn the topics easily. Students can rely on these notes to enhance their preparation before the exam.

4. What are the benefits of the revision notes provided by Extramarks?

Extramarks’ Revision Notes help students earn more marks in exams. These comprehensive notes were prepared by subject matter experts to help students grasp the concepts easily. Sentences are kept short and simple for better understanding. The notes are prepared as per the CBSE guidelines.

5. What are the topics covered in the Class 6 History Chapter 8 Notes?

Chapter 8 of Class 6 History is concerned with ancient villages and towns and how archaeological discoveries aid in reconstructing their histories.The notes first discuss the role of iron in the growth of agriculture. Iron axes and ploughshares that were found at the megalithic sites are important sources of history. The notes then discuss the role of irrigation in agriculture, the importance of coins in the economy,  the various functions of the cities,with specific reference to the city of Mathura, and the stories recorded by ordinary people in the form of Jataka Tales. The notes also mention the power and authority of the Gram Bhojakas, who were landlords and worked for the king at the village level. Craftspeople also record the popular stories of their times in their works of art. Arikamedu was an important place in terms of foreign trade and commercial activities.