Origin of Indo-Aryans and their Settlement in Indian Subcontinent

Arrival of Indo-Aryans was a turning point in the history of the Indian subcontinent. Indo-Aryans settled in the northern and northwestern Indian subcontinent and spoke archaic or Vedic Sanskrit, the language of the Vedas which is closely related to Avestan, an archaic Iranian language. However, origin and the migration of Indo-Aryans which predominantly base on linguistic evidence remain subjects of debate.

The majority of scholars agree that Indo-Aryans came from the steppes north and east of the Caspian Sea and migrated across the Iranian plateau to the northern and northwestern Indian subcontinent. There are no firm evidence for this theory as well as for the theory that all Indo-European speaking people had a common homeland from where they migrated into parts of Asia and Europe. Indo-European theory primarily bases on linguistic similarity of Sanskrit and some European languages although there are also archeological evidence and historical sources. In the treaty between the Hittites and Mitanni kings are mentioned gods Mitira, Indara, Uruvna and Nasatyas which correspond to the gods mentioned in Rigveda - Mitra, Indra, Varuna and Ashvins (Nasatyra), while the Kassites who settled in Mesopotamia in the 18th century BC introduced horse and the chariot (Indo-Aryans also used chariots), and had Indo-European names. For that reason the theory of a common Indo-European homeland has many supporters among the scholars. However, recently became popular also the hypothesis which claims that Indo-Aryans did not migrate from Central Asia but were indigenous ethnic and linguistic element of the Indian subcontinent.

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