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When one reads the Ancient Indian History and Ancient History as a whole, the much-discussed theory of Indo-European migration to India often comes up.

Ancient Indian History in introductory books is traced beginning from the early stages of ancient humans of the Paleolithic period who were food gatherers and hunters and then moving onto the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods where humans become food producers. As a result of this, we find settlements in the form of villages and a much more settled and social life where people engage in things for leisure as opposed to just striving for survival. They indulge in trade and in making ornaments, pots etc.

We then come across the rich history of the Indus- Valley (Harappan) civilization and its sudden (a little mysterious) demise.

As far as I am aware there is no evidence that supports that there were major linguistic advancements (in the form of poetries etc) in the Indus-Calley civilization even when there were major advancements in other areas like megalith structures, roads, drainage systems, etc.

At the fall of the Indus Valley Civilization, we come across the Aryan (Indo-European) Migration Theory which discusses how the people who had horses and knowledge of Indo-European (Vedic) languages migrated to India and displaced the Indigenous population. They then created the Vedas because of which the period after this displacement is called Vedic.

Nothing particular is told about the origins of these Aryans.

From were did the Aryans originate?

Were Aryans part of the first human civilization and were they related to Sumers?

These are a lot of questions that come up as there seems to be a jump in the chronological evolution of ancient history (at least in what I've read). The books simply put this theory without tracing its origins which makes the Aryans seem some mysterious alien species that came from somewhere around places like Germany, Iran, etc with a lot of knowledge and horses and settled. I am interested in knowing more about these Indo-European people and their history traced to when they were food gatherers.

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    Have you tried reading en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-Europeans ?
    – Jan
    Nov 6, 2021 at 10:55
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    – MCW
    Nov 6, 2021 at 11:01
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    All known recent human socieries have complex languages. This includes hunter gatherers like Australian Aborigines and North American Indians. So it is not so special that the Indo-Europeans had a language of their own, too. That peoples from the Central Asian steppes should be able to invade Europe and/or India is not so special either. It has in fact happened several times in the course of documented history.
    – Jan
    Nov 6, 2021 at 11:05
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    To make a long story very very short, yes, Bronze Age and classical Europeans have been found to have aspects reminiscent of Vedic India, indicating some combination of a shared genetic, linguistic, and/or cultural origin. Some of the names of classical Greek gods seem to be etymologically related to Hindu ones (e.g. Uranus/Varuna), and the Celtic harvest festival of Halloween is often hypothesized to be derived from the same source as Diwali. As it stands now, though, your question is too broad for this site. Someone could write a book just exploring one aspect of this.
    – Robert Columbia
    Nov 6, 2021 at 11:31
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    @Lost: why could Central Asian steppes invade Europe and other places and not the other way round? Was it because these people had advanced weapons and more number of soldiers? - No. It is because, by their very nature, namely that of being (semi)nomadic shepherds, they had to constantly find new pastures for their herds, which the modest steppes of Asia, unlike the rich and luxuriant vegetation of the Indus river, do not adequately provide. The pre-Aryan Indians were obviously not the ones seeking to abandon their abundant habitat.
    – Lucian
    Nov 6, 2021 at 20:58

1 Answer 1

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According to the Britannica, Aryans were thought to be a people that in ancient times settled in Iran and northern India.

Aryan, Britannica

Aryan, name originally given to a people who were said to speak an archaic Indo-European language and who were thought to have settled in prehistoric times in ancient Iran and the northern Indian subcontinent.

Proto Aryans

I assume however that it is the location of Proto-Aryans that we are talking about, and according to a theory reported by the Encyclopedia Iranica, certain scholars believe this area to correspond to what is today central Asian parts of Russia, and Kazakhstan

Encyclopaedia Iranica

Most scholars consider Central Asia, i.e., roughly the Eastern Iranian steppes of ancient Sogdiana, Chorasmia, and Bactria and the adjacent area to the north of them (between the lower Volga and Kazakhstan) as the original habitat of the nomadic Proto-Aryans.

2000bc

Whether or not the theory that Proto Aryans originate in Russia and Kazakhstan is correct, they left their Proto-Aryan homeland about 2000bc and appeared in Northern Mesopotamia and India.

EncyclopaediaIranica

The Indo-Aryans seem to have left the Proto-Aryan homeland about 2000 B.C.; according to R. Ghirshman they went in two groups: the first reached Northern Mesopotamia, the other passed between the Karakum Desert and the great Central Desert, the Dašt-e Kavīr, over Koppa Dāḡ into Northern Afghanistan, and over the Hindu Kush into India.

From where did Aryans originate?

There is no actual answer to this question as all that is available are hypothesis, with the Central Asian hypothesis perhaps being the favoured one among scholars.

Were Aryans part of the first human civilization and were they related to Sumers?

There are a lot of theories regarding Aryans, some of them very racist in nature, and a suggestion that anyone knows for a fact that Sumerians were the ancestors of Aryans would have to fall in to the far out there category, as quite simply no-one knows this. All that is known is that they appeared in world history around 2000bc and their location at this time was Mesopotamia and Northern India.

Genetic study

According to TheHindu (Indian Newspaper) a Genetic study has made Scientists around the globe accept the migration hypothesis into India

TheHindu

The thorniest, most fought-over question in Indian history is slowly but surely getting answered: did Indo-European language speakers, who called themselves Aryans, stream into India sometime around 2,000 BC – 1,500 BC when the Indus Valley civilisation came to an end, bringing with them Sanskrit and a distinctive set of cultural practices? Genetic research based on an avalanche of new DNA evidence is making scientists around the world converge on an unambiguous answer: yes, they did.

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