These Chapter 2 From Hunting Gathering to Growing Food Class 6 Notes History are also an excellent source of information for students preparing for exams. You will be able to understand the subject in a more advanced way and also in a simpler way. Chapter 2 Class 6 History notes will cover all the important aspects of the topic, including the definition and key concepts.
Chapter 2 From Hunting Gathering to Growing Food NCERT Class 6 Notes History
The Earliest People: Why were they on the move?
The people who lived in the subcontinent as early as two million years ago. Today, we describe them as hunter-gatherers. Hunter-gatherers moved from place to place. There are many reasons for this:
First, they would have depleted all available plant and animal resources if they had stayed in one place for a long period of time. As a result, they would have had to look for food elsewhere.
Second, animals move from place to place either in search of smaller prey, or, in the case of deer and wild cattle, in search of grass and leaves. That is why those who hunted them had to follow their movements.
Third, plants and trees bear fruit in different seasons. So, people may have moved from season to season in search of different kinds of plants.
Fourth, people, plants and animals need water to survive. People living on their banks would have had to go in search of water during the dry seasons (winter and summer).
How do we know about these people?
Archaeologists have found out several tools used by hunter-gatherers. Some of these stone tools were used to cut meat and bone, scrape bark (from trees) and hides (animal skins), chop fruit and roots. Some
may have been attached to handles of bone or wood, to make spears and arrows for hunting.
Other tools were used to chop wood, which was used as firewood. Wood was also used to make huts and tools.
Choosing a Place to Live In
Early man lived near sources of water. They lived in places where stones were found and people made tools. The place was called factory site.
The factory sites were found near discarded blocks of stone. These were known as habitation-cum-factory sites.
Finding out about the Fire
The fire was unintentionally one of man’s greatest discoveries. Man learned to employ fire in a variety of ways over time. It was utilised to keep warm in the winter and in the art of cooking.
Rock Paintings and What they tell Us
Many of the caves in which these early people lived have paintings on the walls. Some of the best examples are from Madhya Pradesh and southern Uttar Pradesh. These paintings show wild animals, drawn with great accuracy and skill.
A Changing Environment
Around 12,000 years ago, there were major changes in the climate of the world, with a shift to relatively warm conditions. Those who hunted these animals now followed them, learning about their food habits and their breeding seasons. Fishing also became important.
The Beginning of Farming and Herding
This was also a time when several grain bearing grasses, including wheat, barley and rice grew naturally in different parts of the subcontinent.
People could also attract and then tame animals by leaving food for them near their shelters. Later, people encouraged animals that were relatively gentle to come near the camps where they lived. These animals such as sheep, goat, cattle and also the pig lived in herds, and most of them ate grass. Often, people protected these animals from attacks by other wild animals. This is how they became herders.
Domestication is the name given to the process in which people grow plants and look after animals. It began about 12,000 years ago. Some of the earliest plants to be domesticated were wheat and barley. The earliest domesticated animals include sheep and goat.
A New Way of Life
People had to stay in the same place for a long time looking after the plants, watering, weeding, driving away animals and birds – till the grain ripened. Then they start thinking of storing the grain for food and seeds. They began making large clay pots, or wove baskets, or dug pits into the ground.
Animals that are reared can be used as a ‘store’ of food.
Towards a settled life
Archaeologists have found traces of huts or houses at some sites which shows that people have a stable life.
They have also found cooking hearths both inside and outside the huts, which suggests that, depending on the weather, people used to cook food either indoors or outdoors.
Stone tools have been found from many sites. Many of these are different from the earlier Palaeolithic tools and that is why they are called Neolithic. These include tools that were polished to give a fine cutting edge, and mortars and pestles. Mortars and pestles are used for grinding grain even today. Apart from these tools, some of the tools were also made of bone.
Many kinds of earthen pots have also been found. These were used for decoration and for storing things. People also began weaving cloth, using different kinds of materials. For example cotton.
A closer look – Living and Dying in Mehrgarh
The North-West Mehrgarh
The earliest known civilization of the Indian subcontinent was in Mehrgarh (now Pakistan). It was here that man first tamed animals and reared them around 7,000 BC. Charred grains and bones of animals were found here. Glazed faience beads were made.
The North-East Mehrgarh
Evidence of early settlements were found in Manipur, Tripura, Garo Hills. One important Neolithic site in Assam was Daojali Hading. Traces of polished stone tools, ceramics and kitchen items were found here.