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NCERT Summary: From Hunting-Gathering to Growing Food - Notes | Study NCERT Textbooks & Solutions for Class 6 - Class 6

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Hunter-gatherers
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Hunter-gatherers

  • The name comes from the way in which they got their food.
  • Generally, they hunted wild animals, caught fish and birds, gathered fruits, roots, nuts, seeds, leaves, stalks and eggs.
  • The reasons why hunter-gatherers moved from place to place:
    • They eaten up all the available plants and animals resources where they stay for the long time, for the search of food they have to move from place to place.
    • Some of the animals move from place to place in search for food that is why the hunters have to follow their movement.
    • Because of seasons change some of the plants and trees don’t bear fruits so people have to move place to place in search of different kinds of plants.
    • Plants, animals and people needs water, people need water during dry seasons that’s why they travelled on foot from place to place.

How do we know about these people?

• Archaeologists have found some of the things hunter-gatherers made and used.

• It is likely that people made and used tools of stone, wood and bone, of which stone tools have survived best.

Choosing a place to live in

  • Many sites of hunter-gatherers were located near sources of water, such as rivers and lakes.
  • Places where stone was found and where people made tools are known as factory sites.
  • Sometimes, people lived here for longer spells of time. These sites are called habitation-cum-factory sites.

Making Stone Tools

  • Stone tools were made using two techniques: stone on stone and pressure

Finding out about fire

  • One of the biggest discoveries made by man was fire.
  • Fire could have been used for many things: as a source of light, to roast meat, and to scare away animals.

A changing environment

  • Around 12,000 years ago, the temperature of the world started increasing.
  • In many areas, this led to the development of grasslands.
  • This increased the number of deer, antelope, goat, sheep and cattle, i.e. animals that survived on grass.
  • People started thinking about herding and rearing these animals themselves.
  • Fishing also became important.

The beginnings of farming and herding

  • Domestication is the process in which the man grows the plants and protects the animals. Most of these animals tended by man become different from there wild counterparts.
  • People often select the animals and plants to be domesticated by them. This process of domestication began some 12,000 years ago.
  • Virtually all the plant and animal produces which we eat today are the result of Domestication.

‘Storing’ animals

  • Animals multiply naturally. Besides, if they are looked after carefully, they provide milk, which is an important source of food, and meat, whenever required.
  • In other words, animals that are reared can be used as a ‘store’ of food.

Finding out about the first farmers and herders

  • The archaeologists have found evidence of early farmers and herders.
  • These are found all over the subcontinent.
  • Some of the most important ones are in the north-west, in present-day Kashmir, and in east and south India.
  • To prove that these settlements belonged to farmers and herders, scientists study the evidences of plants and animals.
  • Scientists have found burnt grain at these sites. These grains could have been burnt accidentally or purposefully. Also, bones of different animals are found.
  • Based on these finds scientists confirm that a number of crops plants and animals existed in different parts of India sub-continent.

Towards a settled life

  • Archaeologists have found traces of many things. They have use these things to know how the ancient people lived, what did the ancient people eat etc.,
  • Traces of huts at some sites. For example, in Burzahom (in Kashmir) people built pit-houses, which were dug into the ground, with steps leading into them. These houses may have provided shelter in cold weather.
  • Cooking hearths: Cooking places were found both inside and outside the huts, which suggests that, depending on the weather, people could cook food either indoors or outdoors.
  • Neolithic tools: Included polished stone tools to give cutting edge and mortar pistils used for grinding grains. Along with these Neolithic tools, even the tolls of Paleolithic age were still used.
  • Farmers and herders live in groups called tribes.

Living and dying in Mehrgarh

  • Mehrgarh site is located in a fertile plain, near the Bolan Pass, which is one of the most important routes into Iran.
  • Mehrgarh was probably one of the places where women and men learnt to grow barley and wheat, and rear sheep and goats for the first time in this area.
  • It is one of the earliest villages that we know about.
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