Indo Aryan Migration
Models of the Indo-Aryan migration discuss scenarios of prehistoric migrations of the proto-Indo-Aryans to their historically attested areas of settlement in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Claims of Indo-Aryan migration are drawn from linguistic evidence but also from a multitude of data stemming from Vedic religion, rituals, poetics as well as some aspects of social organization and chariot technology.
Indo-Aryan language derives from an earlier Proto-Indo-Iranian stage, usually identified with the Bronze Age Sintashta and Andronovo culture north of the Caspian Sea. Their migration to and within Northwestern parts of South Asia is consequently presumed to have taken place in the Middle to Late Bronze Age, contemporary to the Late Harappan phase (ca. 1700 to 1300 BCE).
This period is marked by a gradual and continual shift of the population to the east, first to the Gangetic plain with the Kurus and Panchalas, and further east with the Kosala and Videha. This Iron Age expansion corresponds to the black and red ware and painted grey ware cultures.
Most recent studies in the end of 20th century and beginning of 21st century, by various geneticists, however, do not indicate a significantly large migration of population since at least 10,000 years. It has to be taken in to account, however, that such studies are based on modern genetic information, not on ancient DNA, and that due to the large error bars existing for the period in question (3000 years), Indo-Aryan migration cannot be distinguished from Persian, Macedonian Greek, Saka, Kushana, Turkic, Arab, and even European incursions into the Indian Subcontinent. In addition to thus still possible smaller incursions by Indo-Aryan speakers, the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization because of change in geological and climatic conditions in the Indus Valley around 1900 BC, resulted in a gradual movement of the Indus Valley population towards the better-watered areas of Haryana and Gujarat, and subsequently to the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in the east, as indicated by recent discoveries of Indus Valley type small townships in Gujarat and Haryana in India. This opened up the Punjab to semi-nomadic cattle herders such as the Indo-Aryans. The scenario under which a comparatively small group of migrants impacts culture far more than genetic makeup is a common one (see below).
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