Discuss How Archaeologists Reconstruct The Past

Class 12 History Chapter 1 Bricks, Beads and Bones The Harappan Civilisation

Discuss How Archaeologists Reconstruct The Past.

Ans: Archaeologists excavate the sites of the ancient past related to culture or civilization. They find art and crafts such as seals, materials, remains of houses, buildings, pots, ornaments, tools, coins, weights, measurements and toys, etc.

Skulls, bones, jaws, teeth of the dead bodies and materials kept with these dead bodies are also helpful for archaeologists. With the help of botanists, and zoologists, archaeologists study the plants and animal bones found at different places.

Archaeologists try to find out the tools used in the process of cultivation and harvesting. They also try to find traces of wells, canals, tanks, etc. as they serve as means of irrigation.

Different layers of sites are observed to find out different things. These things give the picture of socio-economic conditions such as religious life and the cultural life of the people.

Tools, unfinished products, waste materials, help in identifying the centres of craft production. Indirect evidence also helps the archaeologists in reconstructing the past.

Archaeologists develop frames of references, It can be better understood by this fact that the first Harappan seal that was found could not be understood till archaeologists had a context in which to place it-both in terms of cultural sequence in which it was found and in terms of a comparison with finds in Mesopotamia.

Examination of seals helped in constructing the concept of religious belief of the period. Seals depict religious scenes. Some animals such as the one-horned animal, often called the unicorn depicted on the seals appear mythical, composite creatures. In some seals, a figure has been shown sitting crossed legs in a yogic posture. All these represent the religious concept of the period.

Class 12 History Chapter 1 Bricks, Beads and Bones The Harappan Civilisation

2. How do archaeologists trace socio-economic differences in Harappan society? What are the differences that they notice?

3. Would you agree that the drainage system in Harappan cities indicates town planning? Give reasons for your answer.

4. List the materials used to make beads in the Harappan Civilisation. Describe the process by which any one kind of bead was made.

5. Look at figure 1.30 (See NCERT page-26) and describe what you see. How is the body placed? What are the objects placed near it? Are there any artefacts on the body? Do these indicate the sex of the skeleton?

6. Describe some of the distinctive features of Mohenjodaro. 

7. List the raw materials required for craft production in the Harappan Civilisation and discuss how these might have been obtained.

8. Discuss how archaeologists reconstruct the past.

9. Discuss the functions that may have been performed by rulers in Harappan society.

10. On the given map, use a pencil to circle the sites where evidence of agriculture has been recovered. Mark an X against sites where there is evidence of craft production and R against sites where raw materials were found.

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