Vital Villages Thriving Towns

NCERT Solution

Fill in the blanks:

  1. ———————— was a word used for large landowners in Tamil.
  2. The gramabhojaka often got his land cultivated by the ————————
  3. Ploughmen were known as ———————— in Tamil.
  4. Most grihapatis were ———————— landowners.

Answer: (a) Vellalar, (b) dasa karmakara, (c) Uzhavar, (d) Small


Describe the functions of the gramabhojaka. Why do you think he was powerful?

Answer: The gramabhojaka had the authority to collect taxes from other farmers. He also served the function of a judge and sometimes, that of a policeman. He was the biggest landowner in the village and exercised many powers. Hence, he was very powerful in the village.

List the crafts persons who would have been present in both villages and cities.

Answer: Carpenter, ironsmith, potter, weaver, etc.

Choose the correct answer:

Ring wells were used for:

  1. bathing
  2. washing clothes
  3. irrigation
  4. drainage

    Answer: (d) Drainage

Punch marked coins were made of:

  1. silver
  2. gold
  3. tin
  4. ivory

    Answer: (a) silver

Mathura was an important:

  1. village
  2. port
  3. religious centre
  4. forested area

    Answer: (b) religious centre

Shrenis were associations of:

  1. rulers
  2. crafts persons
  3. farmers
  4. herders

    Answer: (b) crafts persons

Which of the iron tools shown on page 87 (NCERT Book) would have been important for agriculture? What would the other tools have been used for?

Answer: Sickle was more important for agriculture. Axe could be used for chopping wood. Tongs could be used in kitchen or by ironsmith; to hold a hot item.

Compare the drainage system in your locality with that of the cities mentioned in the lesson. What similarities and differences do you notice?

Answer: The modern drainage system is made of pipes. Pipes can be made of plastic, concrete or metal. In the cities (in this lesson), the drainage was made by many rings which were stacked over one another. The rings also made a tube-like structure. Use of tubes and ceramic are the similarities. Use of rings in those cities is the difference.


Extra Questions

What do you understand by Sangam literature?

Answer: The literary compositions in Tamil which were created around 2300 years ago are known as Sangam Literature. These were composed in assemblies of authors. Such assemblies were held in Madurai. The term ‘sangam’ means assembly. This explains the naming of Sangam Literature. Sangam Literature has been used to get information about social structure of south Indian villages of that period.

How do we know that Arikamedu had trade relations with the Mediterranean?

Answer: Many potteries have been found from the excavation site at Arikamedu. Some of these potteries show that they originated in the Mediterranean; especially in Rome. Even some local potteries show designs from Rome. This shows that Arikamedu had trade relations with the Mediterranean.

What were the functions of a shreni?

Answer: Following are various responsibilities of the shreni:

What are the possible reasons of very few remains of the cities of the Iron Age?

Answer: Very few remains of palaces and homes have been found. There could be two reasons for this. One of the reasons can be that historians have yet to find those remains. Another reason is that most of the structures were made of wood and mud bricks and hence they may not have survived the vagaries of time.

Which were the two important developments in agriculture during the Iron Age?

Answer: Following are the two important developments in agriculture during the Iron Age:

  1. Improvement in irrigation facilities
  2. Plantation of paddy


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