Indian Mythology

The Indo-Europeans and the Indus Valley Culture

Who were the so-called Aryans or Indo-Europeans?

Essentially, in the context of Indian history, the Aryans were those Indo-Europeans who, according to most scholars, came into the subcontinent from the north in about 1500 B.C.E., bringing various traditions with them. Indo-Europeans also came into Europe and the Middle East—particularly Iran and the Hittite lands—and all spoke languages related to the original Proto-Indo-European language. There are scholars who see connections between Semitic and Indo-European languages and cultures as well. The language of the Indo-Europeans in India was Sanskrit, which remains the liturgical and scriptural language of Hinduism. Again, there are scholars who doubt the whole theory of an Indo-European “invasion” of the subcontinent, arguing instead for the development of Indian culture—including Hinduism—from within the continent, beginning as early as 6500 B.C.E.


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