Aryans are a clan most famous historic people who appeared on the outskirts of Harappan region during its decline at around 1900 BC. The word Aryan literally means ‘High birth or Noble’. Aryans spoke archaic form of Sanskrit which was an Indo-European language group. Their language was a close cousin to Greek and Latin. Moreover it is believed that classical languages like Sanskrit, Latin and Greek evolved from earliest Aryan language.
Aryans were nomadic, horsemen and cattle keeping people so, they moved in search of pastures. They swept across the ancient world making their appearance in Mesopotamia and Persia before entering Indus river valley through Khyber Pass. After entering India they spread rapidly to the area called Sapta Sindu which included Eastern parts of Present day Afghanistan, Punjab (both in India and Pakistan) and few fringes of Uttar Pradesh.
Origin of Aryans
The origin of Aryans is still uncertain. Some Indian scholars believe that Aryans originally belonged to India and that they did not come from outside. Some European scholars believe that the Aryans originally lived on shores away from Baltic Sea. however, majority of historians conclude that the early Aryans lived in places around Europe.
The theory of Russia or Eurasia being the original home of Aryans seems more credible than others. According to this theory, Aryans lived in Steppes stretching from Southern Russia to Central Asia. From this region, Aryans have moved to different parts of Asia and Europe. The evidence of this migration comes from Andronovo culture of Southern Siberia. Andronovo culture flourished in around 2nd millennium BC. The following table gives various views about original home of Aryans.
|Sapta sindhu region
||A C Das
||B G Tilak
|Foot hills of Himalayas
Aryans and the local people
Aryans interacted and mingled with local people and adopted an agrarian mode of living and began to settle down in small communities. Their knowledge of horse riding and their eager to fight nature were the main causes for their rapid spread into various regions of India. They could very easily suppress their enemies. The main result of this interaction was that Vedic form of Aryan language became predominant in North-west India. The main tribes known among the Aryan-speaking people are Hittites, Indo-Aryans, Iranians, Kassites, Mitannis and Greeks.
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