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Aryan Timeline

Aryan Timeline

  • c. 3000 BCE

    The Aryans - nomadic northerners from central Asia - possibly begin to migrate into the Indus Valley in an early phase of migration.

  • c. 2000 BCE - c. 1500 BCE

    The Aryans expand into the Ganges valley in India.

  • c. 1900 BCE - c. 1500 BCE

    Indus Valley Civilization begins to decline. Aryan culture begins to merge with indigenous traditions.

  • c. 1500 BCE - c. 500 BCE

    Indian scholars of the so-called Vedic Period commit the Vedas to written form; basic tenets of Hinduism are established.

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The Aryans were a migratory group of people from Central Asia who identified themselves as a “superior race” and conquered lands to spread culture and civilization to the less fortunate. They describe themselves as a group of free, noble, and civilized people. Today, the term “Aryan” is frequently associated with the concept of White Supremacy.

See the fact file below for more information on the Aryans or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Aryans worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.

Origins of the Term Aryan

Nineteenth-century European scholars used the term Aryan to identify the Indo-European or Indo-Germanic peoples who settled throughout India, Persia (Iran), and Europe thousands of years earlier. The classification originally described the similarities between most European languages, as well as Sanskrit and Persian (Farsi). At the same time, European scholars also identified Jews and Arabs as Semites to describe the similarities between Hebrew, Arabic, and other related languages. Later, this linguistic category was reinterpreted incorrectly as referring to ethnicity or race. Writers like the French racial theoris t Arthur Gobineau (1816-1882) specifically used the term Aryan as a racial category. They also posited that Aryans were superior to other peoples. This racial use of the term promoted a widespread, but false concept of the existence of an "Aryan race."


The Indo-Aryan migration theory is part of a larger theoretical framework. This framework explains the similarities between a wide range of contemporary and ancient languages. It combines linguistic, archaeological and anthropological research. [12] [13] This provides an overview of the development of Indo-European languages, and the spread of these Indo-European languages by migration and acculturation. [13]

Linguistics: relationships between languages

The linguistic part traces the connections between the various Indo-European languages, and reconstructs the proto-Indo-European language. This is possible because the processes that change languages are not random, but follow strict patterns. Sound shifts, the changing of vowels and consonants, are especially important, although grammar (especially morphology) and the lexicon (vocabulary) may also be significant. Historical-comparative linguistics thus makes it possible to see great similarities between related languages which at first sight might seem very different. [13] [14] Various characteristics of the Indo-European languages argue against an Indian origin of these languages, and point to a steppe origin. [14]

Archaeology: migrations from the steppe Urheimat

The archaeological part posits an "Urheimat" on the Pontic steppes, which developed after the introduction of cattle on the steppes around 5,200 BCE. [13] This introduction marked the change from foragist to pastoralist cultures, and the development of a hierarchical social system with chieftains, patron-client systems, and the exchange of goods and gifts. [13] The oldest nucleus may have been the Samara culture (late 6th and early 5th millennium BCE), at a bend in the Volga.

A wider "horizon" developed, called the Kurgan culture by Marija Gimbutas in the 1950s. She included several cultures in this "Kurgan Culture", including the Samara culture and the Yamna culture, although the Yamna culture (36th–23rd centuries BCE), also called "Pit Grave Culture", may more aptly be called the "nucleus" of the proto-Indo-European language. [13] From this area, which already included various subcultures, Indo-European languages spread west, south and east starting around 4,000 BCE. [15] These languages may have been carried by small groups of males, with patron-client systems which allowed for the inclusion of other groups into their cultural system. [13]

Eastward emerged the Sintashta culture (2200–1800 BCE), where common Indo-Iranian was spoken. [16] Out of the Shintashta culture developed the Andronovo culture (2000–900 BCE), which interacted with the Bactria-Margiana Culture (2400–1600 BCE). This interaction further shaped the Indo-Iranians, which split at c. 2000–1600 BCE into the Indo-Aryans and the Iranians. [10] The Indo-Aryans migrated to the Levant and South Asia. [17] The migration into northern India was not a large-scale immigration, but may have consisted of small groups [18] [note 2] which were genetically diverse. [ clarification needed ] Their culture and language spread by the same mechanisms of acculturalisation, and the absorption of other groups into their patron-client system. [13]

Anthropology: elite recruitment and language shift

Indo-European languages probably spread through language shifts. [20] [21] [22] Small groups can change a larger cultural area, [23] [13] and elite male dominance by small groups may have led to a language shift in northern India. [24] [25] [26]

David Anthony, in his "revised Steppe hypothesis" [27] notes that the spread of the Indo-European languages probably did not happen through "chain-type folk migrations", but by the introduction of these languages by ritual and political elites, which were emulated by large groups of people, [28] [note 3] a process which he calls "elite recruitment". [29]

According to Parpola, local elites joined "small but powerful groups" of Indo-European speaking migrants. [20] These migrants had an attractive social system and good weapons, and luxury goods which marked their status and power. Joining these groups was attractive for local leaders, since it strengthened their position, and gave them additional advantages. [30] These new members were further incorporated by matrimonial alliances. [31] [21]

According to Joseph Salmons, language shift is facilitated by "dislocation" of language communities, in which the elite is taken over. [32] According to Salmons, this change is facilitated by "systematic changes in community structure", in which a local community becomes incorporated in a larger social structure. [32] [note 4]

Genetics: ancient ancestry and multiple gene flows

The Indo-Aryan migrations form part of a complex genetic puzzle on the origin and spread of the various components of the Indian population, including various waves of admixture and language shift. Studies indicate north and south Indians share a common maternal ancestry. [33] [34] [35] [36] A series of studies show that the Indian subcontinent harbours two major ancestral components, [37] [38] [39] namely the Ancestral North Indians (ANI) which is "genetically close to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans", and the Ancestral South Indians (ASI) which is clearly distinct from ANI. [37] [note 5] These two groups mixed in India between 4,200 and 1,900 years ago (2200 BCE – 100 CE), after which a shift to endogamy took place, [39] possibly by the enforcement of "social values and norms" during the Gupta Empire. [41] [ when? ]

Moorjani et al. (2013) describe three scenarios regarding the bringing together of the two groups: migrations before the development of agriculture before 8,000–9,000 years before present (BP) migration of western Asian [note 6] people together with the spread of agriculture, maybe up to 4,600 years BP migrations of western Eurasians from 3,000 to 4,000 years BP. [42]

While Reich notes that the onset of admixture coincides with the arrival of Indo-European language, [web 2] according to Moorjani et al. (2013) these groups were present "unmixed" in India before the Indo-Aryan migrations. [39] Gallego Romero et al. (2011) propose that the ANI component came from Iran and the Middle East, [43] less than 10,000 years ago, [web 3] [note 7] while according to Lazaridis et al. (2016) ANI is a mix of "early farmers of western Iran" and "people of the Bronze Age Eurasian steppe". [44] Several studies also show traces of later influxes of maternal genetic material [33] [web 4] and of paternal genetic material related to ANI and possibly the Indo-Europeans. [37] [45] [46]

Literary research: similarities, geography, and references to migration

The oldest inscription [ when? ] in Old Indic is found in northern Syria in Hittite records regarding the Hurrian-speaking Mitanni. [47] [48] The religious practices depicted in the Rigveda and those depicted in the Avesta, the central religious text of Zoroastrianism, show similarities. [48] Some of the references to the Sarasvati in the Rigveda refer to the Ghaggar-Hakra River, [49] while the Afghan river Haraxvaiti/Harauvati Helmand is sometimes quoted as the locus of the early Rigvedic river. [50] [ needs context ] The Rigveda does not explicitly refer to an external homeland [51] or to a migration, [52] but later Vedic and Puranic texts do show the movement into the Gangetic plains. [ citation needed ]

Ecological studies: widespread drought, urban collapse, and pastoral migrations

Climate change and drought may have triggered both the initial dispersal of Indo-European speakers, and the migration of Indo-Europeans from the steppes in south central Asia and India. [53] [54]

Around 4200–4100 BCE a climate change occurred, manifesting in colder winters in Europe. [55] Steppe herders, archaic Proto-Indo-European speakers, spread into the lower Danube valley about 4200–4000 BCE, either causing or taking advantage of the collapse of Old Europe. [56]

The Yamna horizon was an adaptation to a climate change which occurred between 3500 and 3000 BCE, in which the steppes became drier and cooler. Herds needed to be moved frequently to feed them sufficiently, and the use of wagons and horse-back riding made this possible, leading to "a new, more mobile form of pastoralism". [57]

In the third millennium BCE widespread aridification led to water shortages and ecological changes in both the Eurasian steppes and the Indian subcontinent. [web 1] [54] On the steppes, humidification led to a change of vegetation, triggering "higher mobility and transition to nomadic cattle breeding". [54] [note 8] [57] [note 9] Water shortage also had a strong impact in the Indian subcontinent, "causing the collapse of sedentary urban cultures in south central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and India, and triggering large-scale migrations". [web 1]

Similarities between Sanskrit, Persian, Greek

In the 16th century, European visitors to India became aware of similarities between Indian and European languages [58] and as early as 1653 Van Boxhorn had published a proposal for a proto-language ("Scythian") for Germanic, Romance, Greek, Baltic, Slavic, Celtic and Iranian. [59]

In a memoir sent to the French Academy of Sciences in 1767 Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux, a French Jesuit who spent all his life in India, had specifically demonstrated the existing analogy between Sanskrit and European languages. [60] [note 10]

In 1786 William Jones, a judge in the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William, Calcutta, linguist, and classics scholar, on studying Sanskrit, postulated, in his Third Anniversary Discourse to the Asiatic Society, a proto-language uniting Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Latin, Gothic and Celtic languages, but in many ways his work was less accurate than his predecessors', as he erroneously included Egyptian, Japanese and Chinese in the Indo-European languages, while omitting Hindustani [59] and Slavic: [61] [62]

The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists: there is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic and the Celtic, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanskrit and the old Persian might be added to the same family, if this were the place for discussing any question concerning the antiquities of Persia. [63] [web 5]

Jones concluded that all these languages originated from the same source. [63]


Scholars assume a homeland either in central Asia or in Western Asia, and Sanskrit must in this case have reached India by a language transfer from west to east. [64] [65] In 19th century Indo-European studies, the language of the Rigveda was the most archaic Indo-European language known to scholars, indeed the only records of Indo-European that could reasonably claim to date to the Bronze Age. This primacy of Sanskrit inspired scholars such as Friedrich Schlegel, to assume that the locus of the proto-Indo-European homeland had been in India, with the other dialects spread to the west by historical migration. [64] [65]

With the 20th-century discovery of Bronze-Age attestations of Indo-European (Anatolian, Mycenaean Greek), Vedic Sanskrit lost its special status as the most archaic Indo-European language known. [64] [65]

Aryan "race"

In the 1850s Max Müller introduced the notion of two Aryan races, a western and an eastern one, who migrated from the Caucasus into Europe and India respectively. Müller dichotomized the two groups, ascribing greater prominence and value to the western branch. Nevertheless, this "eastern branch of the Aryan race was more powerful than the indigenous eastern natives, who were easy to conquer". [66]

Herbert Hope Risley expanded on Müller's two-race Indo-European speaking Aryan invasion theory, concluding that the caste system was a remnant of the Indo-Aryans domination of the native Dravidians, with observable variations in phenotypes between hereditary, race based, castes. [67] [68] Thomas Trautmann explains that Risley "found a direct relation between the proportion of Aryan blood and the nasal index, along a gradient from the highest castes to the lowest. This assimilation of caste to race proved very influential." [69]

Müller's work contributed to the developing interest in Aryan culture, which often set Indo-European ('Aryan') traditions in opposition to Semitic religions. He was "deeply saddened by the fact that these classifications later came to be expressed in racist terms", as this was far from his intention. [70] [note 11] For Müller the discovery of common Indian and European ancestry was a powerful argument against racism, arguing that "an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar" and that "the blackest Hindus represent an earlier stage of Aryan speech and thought than the fairest Scandinavians". [71] In his later work, Max Müller took great care to limit the use of the term "Aryan" to a strictly linguistic one. [72]

"Aryan invasion"

The excavation of the Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and Lothal sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) in the 1920, [73] showed that northern India already had an advanced culture when the Indo-Aryans migrated into the area. The theory changed from a migration of advanced Aryans towards a primitive aboriginal population, to a migration of nomadic people into an advanced urban civilization, comparable to the Germanic migrations during the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, or the Kassite invasion of Babylonia. [74]

This possibility was for a short time [ when? ] seen as a hostile invasion into northern India. The decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation at precisely the period in history in which the Indo-Aryan migrations probably took place, seemed to provide independent support of such an invasion. This argument was proposed by the mid-20th century archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler, who interpreted the presence of many unburied corpses found in the top levels of Mohenjo-daro as the victims of conquest wars, and who famously stated that the god "Indra stands accused" of the destruction of the Civilisation. [74]

This position was discarded after finding no evidence of wars. The skeletons were found to be hasty interments, not massacred victims. [74] Wheeler himself also nuanced this interpretation in later publications, stating "This is a possibility, but it can't be proven, and it may not be correct." [75] Wheeler further notes that the unburied corpses may indicate an event in the final phase of human occupation of Mohenjo-Daro, and that thereafter the place was uninhabited, but that the decay of Mohenjo-Daro has to be ascribed to structural causes such as salinisation. [76]

Nevertheless, although 'invasion' was discredited, critics [ who? ] of the Indo-Aryan Migration theory continue to present the theory as an "Aryan Invasion Theory", [1] [77] [note 12] presenting it as a racist and colonialist discourse:

The theory of an immigration of IA speaking Arya ("Aryan invasion") is simply seen as a means of British policy to justify their own intrusion into India and their subsequent colonial rule: in both cases, a "white race" was seen as subduing the local darker colored population. [1]

Aryan migration

In the later 20th century, ideas were refined along with data accrual, and migration and acculturation were seen as the methods whereby Indo-Aryans and their language and culture spread into northwest India around 1500 BCE. The term "invasion" is only being used nowadays by opponents [ who? ] of the Indo-Aryan Migration theory. [1] [77] Michael Witzel:

. it has been supplanted by much more sophisticated models over the past few decades [. ] philologists first, and archaeologists somewhat later, noticed certain inconsistencies in the older theory and tried to find new explanations, a new version of the immigration theories. [1] [note 13]

The changed approach was in line with newly developed thinking about language transfer in general, such as the migration of the Greeks into Greece (between 2100 and 1600 BCE) and their adoption of a syllabic script, Linear B, from the pre-existing Linear A, with the purpose of writing Mycenaean Greek, or the Indo-Europeanization of Western Europe (in stages between 2200 and 1300 BCE).

Future directions

Mallory notes that with the development and the growing sophistication of the knowledge on the Indo-European migrations and their purported homeland, new questions arise, and that "it is evident that we still have a very long way to go." [78] One of those questions is the origin of the shared agricultural vocabulary, and the earliest dates for agriculturalism in areas settled by the Indo-Europeans. Those dates seem to be too late to account for the shared vocabulary, and raise the question what their origin is. [79]

Linguistic research traces the connections between the various Indo-European languages, and reconstructs proto-Indo-European. Accumulated linguistic evidence points to the Indo-Aryan languages as intrusive into the Indian subcontinent, some time in the 2nd millennium BCE. [80] [81] [82] [83] The language of the Rigveda, the earliest stratum of Vedic Sanskrit, is assigned to about 1500–1200 BCE. [47]

Comparative method

Connections between languages can be traced because the processes that change languages are not random, but follow strict patterns. Especially sound shifts, the changing of vowels and consonants, are important, although grammar (especially morphology) and the lexicon (vocabulary) may also be significant. Historical-comparative linguistics thus makes it possible to see great similarities between languages which at first sight might seem very different. [13]

Linguistics use the comparative method to study the development of languages by performing a feature-by-feature comparison of two or more languages with common descent from a shared ancestor, as opposed to the method of internal reconstruction, which analyses the internal development of a single language over time. [84] Ordinarily both methods are used together to reconstruct prehistoric phases of languages, to fill in gaps in the historical record of a language, to discover the development of phonological, morphological, and other linguistic systems, and to confirm or refute hypothesized relationships between languages.

The comparative method aims to prove that two or more historically attested languages are descended from a single proto-language by comparing lists of cognate terms. From them, regular sound correspondences between the languages are established, and a sequence of regular sound changes can then be postulated, which allows the proto-language to be reconstructed. Relation is deemed certain only if at least a partial reconstruction of the common ancestor is feasible, and if regular sound correspondences can be established with chance similarities ruled out.

The comparative method was developed over the 19th century. Key contributions were made by the Danish scholars Rasmus Rask and Karl Verner and the German scholar Jacob Grimm. The first linguist to offer reconstructed forms from a proto-language was August Schleicher, in his Compendium der vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen, originally published in 1861. [85]


Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages. PIE was the first proposed proto-language to be accepted by modern linguists [ who? ] [ when? ] . More work has gone into reconstructing it than any other proto-language, and it is by far the best understood among all proto-languages of its age. During the 19th century, the vast majority of linguistic work was devoted to reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European or its daughter proto-languages such as Proto-Germanic, and most of the current techniques of linguistic reconstruction in historical linguistics (e.g., the comparative method and the method of internal reconstruction) were developed as a result. [ citation needed ]

Scholars [ who? ] estimate that PIE may have been spoken as a single language (before divergence began) around 3500 BCE, though estimates by different [ who? ] authorities can vary by more than a millennium. A number of hypotheses have been proposed for the origin and spread of the language, the most popular [ peacock term ] among linguists being the Kurgan hypothesis, which postulates an origin in the Pontic–Caspian steppe of Eastern Europe. Features of the culture of the speakers of PIE, known as Proto-Indo-Europeans, have also been reconstructed based on the shared vocabulary of the early attested Indo-European languages. [ citation needed ]

As mentioned above, the existence of PIE was first postulated in the 18th century by Sir William Jones, who observed the similarities between Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, and Latin. By the early 20th century, well-defined descriptions of PIE had been developed that are still accepted [ by whom? ] today (with some refinements). The largest developments of the 20th century were the discovery of the Anatolian and Tocharian languages and the acceptance of the laryngeal theory. The Anatolian languages have also spurred a major re-evaluation of theories concerning the development of various shared Indo-European language features and the extent to which these features were present in PIE itself. [ citation needed ] Relationships to other language families, including the Uralic languages, have been proposed but remain controversial. [ citation needed ]

PIE is thought [ by whom? ] to have had a complex system of morphology that included inflectional suffixes as well as ablaut (vowel alterations, as preserved in English sing, sang, sung). Nouns and verbs had complex systems of declension and conjugation respectively.

Arguments against an Indian origin of proto-Indo-European


According to the linguistic center of gravity principle, the most likely point of origin of a language family is in the area of its greatest diversity. [86] [note 14] By this criterion, Northern India, home to only a single branch of the Indo-European language family (i.e., Indo-Aryan), is an exceedingly unlikely candidate for the Indo-European homeland, compared to Central-Eastern Europe, for example, which is home to the Italic, Venetic, Illyrian, Albanian, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic, Thracian and Greek branches of Indo-European. [87]

Both mainstream Urheimat solutions locate the Proto-Indo-European homeland in the vicinity of the Black Sea. [88]

Dialectal variation

It has been recognized since the mid-19th century, beginning with Schmidt and Schuchardt, that a binary tree model cannot capture all linguistic alignments certain areal features cut across language groups and are better explained through a model treating linguistic change like waves rippling out through a pond. This is true of the Indo-European languages as well. Various features originated and spread while Proto-Indo-European was still a dialect continuum. [89] These features sometimes cut across sub-families: for instance, the instrumental, dative and ablative plurals in Germanic and Balto-Slavic feature endings beginning with -m-, rather than the usual -*bh-, e.g. Gothic dative plural sunum 'to the sons' and Old Church Slavonic instrumental plural synъ-mi 'with sons', [90] despite the fact that the Germanic languages are centum, while Balto-Slavic languages are satem.

The strong correspondence between the dialectal relationships of the Indo-European languages and their actual geographical arrangement in their earliest attested forms makes an Indian origin, as suggested by the Out of India Theory, unlikely. [91]

Substrate influence

Already in the 1870s the Neogrammarians [ who? ] realised that the Greek/Latin vocalism couldn't be explained on the basis of the Sanskrit one, and therefore must be more original. [ citation needed ] The Indo-Iranian and Uralic languages influenced each other, with the Finno-Ugric languages containing Indo-European loan words. A telling example is the Finnish word vasara, "hammer", which is related to vajra, the weapon of Indra. Since the Finno-Ugric homeland was located in the northern forest zone in northern Europe, the contacts must have taken place – in line with the placement of the proto-Indo-European homeland at the Pontic-Caspian steppes – between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. [web 1]

Dravidian and other South Asian languages share with Indo-Aryan a number of syntactical and morphological features that are alien to other Indo-European languages, including even its closest relative, Old Iranian. Phonologically, there is the introduction of retroflexes, which alternate with dentals in Indo-Aryan morphologically there are the gerunds and syntactically there is the use of a quotative marker (iti). [note 15] These are taken as evidence of substratum influence.

It has been argued [ by whom? ] that Dravidian influenced Indic through "shift", whereby native Dravidian speakers learned and adopted Indic languages. [ citation needed ] The presence of Dravidian structural features in Old Indo-Aryan is thus plausibly explained, that the majority of early Old Indo-Aryan speakers had a Dravidian mother tongue which they gradually abandoned. [92] Even though the innovative traits in Indic could be explained by multiple internal explanations, early Dravidian influence is the only explanation that can account for all of the innovations at once – it becomes a question of explanatory parsimony moreover, early Dravidian influence accounts for several of the innovative traits in Indic better than any internal explanation that has been proposed. [93]

A pre-Indo-European linguistic substratum in the Indian subcontinent would be a good reason to exclude India as a potential Indo-European homeland. [94] However, several linguists [ who? ] , all of whom accept the external origin of the Aryan languages on other grounds, are still open to considering the evidence as internal developments rather than the result of substrate influences, [95] or as adstratum effects. [96]

The Sintashta, Andronovo, Bactria-Margiana and Yaz cultures have been associated with Indo-Iranian migrations in Central Asia. [97] The Gandhara Grave, Cemetery H, Copper Hoard and Painted Grey Ware cultures are candidates for subsequent cultures within south India associated with Indo-Aryan movements. [ needs context ] The decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation predates the Indo-Aryan migrations, but archeological data show a cultural continuity in the archeological record. Together with the presence of Dravidian loanwords in the Rigveda, this [ clarification needed ] argues in favor of an interaction between post-Harappan and Indo-Aryan cultures. [8]

Stages of migrations

About 6,000 years ago the Indo-Europeans started to spread out from their proto-Indo-European homeland in Central Eurasia, between the southern Ural Mountains, the North Caucasus, and the Black Sea. [15] About 4,000 years ago Indo-European speaking peoples started to migrate out of the Eurasian steppes. [98] [note 16]

Diffusion from the "Urheimat"

Scholars regard the middle Volga, which was the location of the Samara culture (late 6th and early 5th millennium BCE), and the Yamna culture, to be the "Urheimat" of the Indo-Europeans, as described by the Kurgan hypothesis. From this "Urheimat", Indo-European languages spread throughout the Eurasian steppes between c. 4,500 and 2,500 BCE, forming the Yamna culture.

Sequence of migrations

David Anthony gives an elaborate overview of the sequence of migrations.

The oldest attested Indo-European language is Hittite, which belongs to the oldest written Indo-European languages, the Anatolian branch. [99] Although the Hittites are placed in the 2nd millennium BCE, [100] the Anatolian branch seems to predate Proto-Indo-European, and may have developed from an older Pre-Proto-Indo-European ancestor. [101] If it separated from Proto-Indo-European, it is likely to have done so between 4500 and 3500 BCE. [102]

A migration of archaic Proto-Indo-European speaking steppe herders into the lower Danube valley took place about 4200–4000 BCE, either causing or taking advantage of the collapse of Old Europe. [56]

According to Mallory and Adams, migrations southward founded the Maykop culture (c. 3500–2500 BCE), [103] and eastward the Afanasevo culture (c. 3500–2500 BCE), [104] which developed into the Tocharians (c. 3700–3300 BCE). [105]

According to Anthony, between 3100–2800/2600 BCE, a real folk migration of Proto-Indo-European speakers from the Yamna-culture took place toward the west, into the Danube Valley. [106] These migrations probably split off Pre-Italic, Pre-Celtic and Pre-Germanic from Proto-Indo-European. [107] According to Anthony, this was followed by a movement north, which split away Baltic-Slavic c. 2800 BCE. [108] Pre-Armenian split off at the same time. [109] According to Parpola, this migration is related to the appearance of Indo-European speakers from Europe in Anatolia, and the appearance of Hittite. [110]

The Corded Ware culture in Middle Europe ( 2900–2450/2350 cal. BCE), [111] has been associated with some of the languages in the Indo-European family. According to Haak et al. (2015) a massive migration took place from the Eurasian steppes to Central Europe.

This migration is closely associated with the Corded Ware culture. [112] [web 6] [web 7]

The Indo-Iranian language and culture emerged in the Sintashta culture (c. 2200–1800 BCE), where the chariot was invented. [13] Allentoft et al. (2015) found close autosomal genetic relationship between peoples of Corded Ware culture and Sintashta culture, which "suggests similar genetic sources of the two", and may imply that "the Sintashta derives directly from an eastward migration of Corded Ware peoples". [113]

The Indo-Iranian language and culture was further developed in the Andronovo culture (c. 2000–900 BCE), and influenced by the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (c. 2400–1600 BCE). The Indo-Aryans split off around 2000–1600 BCE from the Iranians, [10] after which Indo-Aryan groups are thought to have moved to the Levant (Mitanni), the northern Indian subcontinent (Vedic people, c. 1500 BCE), and China (Wusun). [17] Thereafter the Iranians migrated into Iran. [17]

Central Asia: formation of Indo-Iranians

Indo-Iranian peoples are a grouping of ethnic groups consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani peoples that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages.

The Proto-Indo-Iranians are commonly identified with the Andronovo culture, [97] that flourished c. 2000–900 BCE in an area of the Eurasian Steppe that borders the Ural River on the west, the Tian Shan on the east. The older Sintashta culture (2200–1800), formerly included within the Andronovo culture, is now considered separately, but regarded as its predecessor, and accepted as part of the wider Andronovo horizon.

The Indo-Aryan migration was part of the Indo-Iranian migrations from the Andronovo culture into Anatolia, Iran and South Asia. [114]

Sintashta-Petrovka culture

The Sintashta culture, also known as the Sintashta-Petrovka culture [115] or Sintashta-Arkaim culture, [116] is a Bronze Age archaeological culture of the northern Eurasian Steppe on the borders of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, dated to the period 2200–1800 BCE. [3] [117] The Sintashta culture is probably the archaeological manifestation of the Indo-Iranian language group. [6]

The Sintashta culture emerged from the interaction of two antecedent cultures. Its immediate predecessor in the Ural-Tobol steppe was the Poltavka culture, an offshoot of the cattle-herding Yamnaya horizon that moved east into the region between 2800 and 2600 BCE. [118] Several Sintashta towns were built over older Poltovka settlements or close to Poltovka cemeteries, and Poltovka motifs are common on Sintashta pottery. Sintashta material culture also shows the influence of the late Abashevo culture, a collection of Corded Ware settlements in the forest steppe zone north of the Sintashta region that were also predominantly pastoralist. [119] Allentoft et al. (2015) also found close autosomal genetic relationship between peoples of Corded Ware culture and Sintashta culture. [113]

The earliest known chariots have been found in Sintashta burials, and the culture is considered a strong candidate for the origin of the technology, which spread throughout the Old World and played an important role in ancient warfare. [120] Sintashta settlements are also remarkable for the intensity of copper mining and bronze metallurgy carried out there, which is unusual for a steppe culture. [121]

Because of the difficulty of identifying the remains of Sintashta sites beneath those of later settlements, the culture was only recently distinguished from the Andronovo culture. [116] It is now recognised as a separate entity forming part of the 'Andronovo horizon'. [115]

Andronovo culture

The Andronovo culture is a collection of similar local Bronze Age Indo-Iranian cultures that flourished c. 2000–900 BC in western Siberia and the central Eurasian Steppe. [9] It is probably better termed an archaeological complex or archaeological horizon. The name derives from the village of Andronovo ( 55°53′N 55°42′E  /  55.883°N 55.700°E  / 55.883 55.700 ), where in 1914, several graves were discovered, with skeletons in crouched positions, buried with richly decorated pottery. The older Sintashta culture (2200–1800 BCE), formerly included within the Andronovo culture, is now considered [ by whom? ] separately, but regarded as its predecessor, and accepted as part of the wider Andronovo horizon.

The following Andronovo Sub-cultures have been distinguished:

  • Fedorovo (1900–1400 BC) [122][123] in southern Siberia (earliest evidence of cremation and fire cult[124] )
  • Alakul (1800–1500 BC) [117][125] between Oxus and Jaxartes, Kyzylkum desert
  • Eastern Fedorovo (1750–1500 BC) [126] in Tian Shan mountains (Northwestern Xinjiang, China), southeastern Kazakhstan, eastern Kyrgyzstan
  • Alekseyevka (1200–1000 BC) [127] "final Bronze Age phase" in eastern Kazakhstan, contacts with Namazga VI in Turkmenia

The geographical extent of the culture is vast and difficult to delineate exactly. On its western fringes, it overlaps with the approximately contemporaneous, but distinct, Srubna culture in the Volga–Ural interfluvial. To the east, it reaches into the Minusinsk depression, with some sites as far west as the southern Ural Mountains, [128] overlapping with the area of the earlier Afanasevo culture. [129] Additional sites are scattered as far south as the Kopet Dag (Turkmenistan), the Pamir (Tajikistan) and the Tian Shan (Kyrgyzstan). The northern boundary vaguely corresponds to the beginning of the Taiga. [128] In the Volga basin, interaction with the Srubna culture was the most intense and prolonged, and Federovo style pottery is found as far west as Volgograd.

Towards the middle of the 2nd millennium, the Andronovo cultures begin to move intensively eastwards. They mined deposits of copper ore in the Altai Mountains and lived in villages of as many as ten sunken log cabin houses measuring up to 30m by 60m in size. Burials were made in stone cists or stone enclosures with buried timber chambers.

In other respects, the economy was pastoral, based on cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. [128] While agricultural use has been posited [ by whom? ] , no clear evidence has been presented.

Studies associate the Andronovo horizon with early Indo-Iranian languages, though it may have overlapped the early Uralic-speaking area at its northern fringe, including the Turkic-speaking area at its northeastern fringe. [130] [131] [132]

Based on its use by Indo-Aryans in Mitanni and Vedic India, its prior absence in the Near East and Harappan India, and its 19–20th century BCE attestation at the Andronovo site of Sintashta, Kuz'mina (1994) argues that the chariot corroborates the identification of Andronovo as Indo-Iranian. [133] [note 17] Anthony & Vinogradov (1995) dated a chariot burial at Krivoye Lake to about 2000 BCE and a Bactria-Margiana burial that also contains a foal has recently been found, indicating further links with the steppes. [137]

Mallory acknowledges the difficulties of making a case for expansions from Andronovo to northern India, and that attempts to link the Indo-Aryans to such sites as the Beshkent and Vakhsh cultures "only gets the Indo-Iranian to Central Asia, but not as far as the seats of the Medes, Persians or Indo-Aryans". He has developed the "kulturkugel" model that has the Indo-Iranians taking over Bactria-Margiana cultural traits but preserving their language and religion [ contradictory ] while moving into Iran and India. [138] [136] Fred Hiebert also agrees that an expansion of the BMAC into Iran and the margin of the Indus Valley is "the best candidate for an archaeological correlate of the introduction of Indo-Iranian speakers to Iran and South Asia." [136] According to Narasimhan et al. (2018), the expansion of the Andronovo culture towards the BMAC took place via the Inner Asia Mountain Corridor. [139]

Bactria-Margiana culture

The Bactria-Margiana Culture, also called "Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex", was a non-Indo-European culture which influenced the Indo-Iranians. [114] It was centered in what is nowadays northwestern Afghanistan and southern Turkmenistan. [114] Proto-Indo-Iranian arose due to this influence. [114]

The Indo-Iranians also borrowed their distinctive religious beliefs [ contradictory ] and practices from this culture. [114] According to Anthony, the Old Indic religion probably emerged among Indo-European immigrants in the contact zone between the Zeravshan River (present-day Uzbekistan) and (present-day) Iran. [140] It was "a syncretic mixture of old Central Asian and new Indo-European elements", [140] which borrowed "distinctive religious beliefs and practices" [114] from the Bactria–Margiana Culture. [114] At least 383 non-Indo-European words were borrowed from this culture, including the god Indra and the ritual drink Soma. [141]

The characteristically Bactria-Margiana (southern Turkmenistan/northern Afghanistan) artifacts found at burials in Mehrgarh and Balochistan are explained by a movement of peoples from Central Asia to the south. [142] The Indo-Aryan tribes may have been present in the area of the BMAC from 1700 BCE at the latest (incidentally corresponding with the decline of that culture).

From the BMAC, the Indo-Aryans moved into the Indian subcontinent. According to Bryant, the Bactria-Margiana material inventory of the Mehrgarh and Baluchistan burials is "evidence of an archaeological intrusion into the subcontinent from Central Asia during the commonly accepted time frame for the arrival of the Indo-Aryans". [143] [note 18]

Two waves of Indo-Iranian migration

The Indo-Iranian migrations took place in two waves, [144] [145] belonging to the second and the third stage of Beckwith's description of the Indo-European migrations. [146] The first wave consisted of the Indo-Aryan migration into the Levant, supposedly founding the Mitanni kingdom in northern Syria [147] (c. 1500–1300 BCE), and the migration south-eastward of the Vedic people, over the Hindu Kush into northern India. [148] Christopher I. Beckwith suggests that the Wusun, an Indo-European Europoid people of Inner Asia in antiquity, were also of Indo-Aryan origin. [149] The second wave is interpreted as the Iranian wave. [150]

First wave – Indo-Aryan migrations


Mitanni (Hittite cuneiform KUR URU Mi-ta-an-ni), also Mittani (Mi-it-ta-ni) or Hanigalbat (Assyrian Hanigalbat, Khanigalbat cuneiform Ḫa-ni-gal-bat) or Naharin in ancient Egyptian texts was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and south-east Anatolia from c. 1600 BCE – 1350 BCE. [151]

According to one hypothesis, founded by an Indo-Aryan ruling class governing a predominately Hurrian population, Mitanni came to be a regional power after the Hittite destruction of Amorite [152] Babylon and a series of ineffectual Assyrian kings created a power vacuum in Mesopotamia. At the beginning of its history, Mitanni's major rival was Egypt under the Thutmosids. However, with the ascent of the Hittite empire, Mitanni and Egypt made an alliance to protect their mutual interests from the threat of Hittite domination.

At the height of its power, during the 14th century BCE, Mitanni had outposts centered on its capital, Washukanni, whose location has been determined by archaeologists to be on the headwaters of the Khabur River. Their sphere of influence is shown in Hurrian place names, personal names and the spread through Syria and the Levant of a distinct pottery type. Eventually, Mitanni succumbed to Hittite and later Assyrian attacks, and was reduced to the status of a province of the Middle Assyrian Empire.

The earliest written evidence for an Indo-Aryan language is found not in Northwestern India and Pakistan, but in northern Syria, the location of the Mitanni kingdom. [97] The Mitanni kings took Old Indic throne names, and Old Indic technical terms were used for horse-riding and chariot-driving. [97] The Old Indic term r'ta, meaning "cosmic order and truth", the central concept of the Rigveda, was also employed in the Mitanni kingdom. [97] Old Indic gods, including Indra, were also known in the Mitanni kingdom. [153] [154] [155]

North-India – Vedic culture

Multiple waves of migration into northern India

The standard model [ by whom? ] for the entry of the Indo-European languages into India is that Indo-Aryan migrants went over the Hindu Kush, forming the Gandhara grave culture or Swat culture, in present-day Swat valley, into the headwaters of either the Indus or the Ganges (probably both). The Gandhara grave culture, which emerged c. 1600 BCE and flourished from c. 1500 BCE to 500 BCE in Gandhara, modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan, is thus the most likely locus of the earliest bearers of Rigvedic culture.

According to Parpola, Indo-Aryan clans migrated into South Asia in subsequent waves. [8] This explains the diversity of views found in the Rig Veda, and may also explain the existence of various Indo-Aryan cultural complexes in the later Vedic period, namely the Vedic culture centered on the Kuru Kingdom in the heartland of Aryavarta in the western Ganges plain, and the cultural complex of Greater Magadha at the eastern Ganges plain, which gave rise to Jainism and Buddhism. [8] [156] [157]

Writing in 1998, Parpola postulated a first wave of immigration from as early as 1900 BCE, corresponding to the Cemetery H culture and the Copper Hoard Culture, c.q. Ochre Coloured Pottery culture, and an immigration to the Punjab . 1700–1400 BCE. [158] [note 19] In 2020, Parpola proposed an even earlier wave of proto-Indo-Iranian speaking people from the Sintashta culture [159] into India at c. 1900 BCE, related to the Copper Hoard Culture, followed by a pre-Rig Vedic Indo-Aryan wave of migration: [160]

It seems, then, that the earliest Aryan-speaking immigrants to South Asia, the Copper Hoard people, came with bull-drawn carts (Sanauli and Daimabad) via the BMAC and had Proto-Indo-Iranian as their language. They were, however, soon followed (and probably at least partially absorbed) by early Indo-Aryans. [161]

This pre-Rig-Vedic wave of migration by early Indo-Aryans is associated by Parpola with "the early (Ghalegay IV–V) phase of the Gandhāra Grave culture" and the Atharva Veda tradition, and related to the Petrovka culture. [162] The Rig-Vedic wave followed several centuries later, "perhaps in the fourteenth century BCE", and is associated by Parpola with the Fedorovo culture. [163]

According to Kochhar there were three waves of Indo-Aryan immigration that occurred after the mature Harappan phase: [164]

  1. the "Murghamu" (Bactria-Margiana Culture) related people who entered Balochistan at Pirak, Mehrgarh south cemetery, and other places, and later merged with the post-urban Harappans during the late Harappans Jhukar phase (2000–1800 BCE)
  2. the Swat IV that co-founded the Harappan Cemetery H phase in Punjab (2000–1800 BCE)
  3. and the Rigvedic Indo-Aryans of Swat V that later absorbed the Cemetery H people and gave rise to the Painted Grey Ware culture (PGW) (to 1400 BCE).
Gandhara grave culture and Ochre Coloured Pottery culture

About 1800 BCE, there is a major cultural change in the Swat Valley with the emergence of the Gandhara grave culture. With its introduction of new ceramics, new burial rites, and the horse, the Gandhara grave culture is a major candidate for early Indo-Aryan presence. The two new burial rites—flexed inhumation in a pit and cremation burial in an urn—were, according to early Vedic literature, both practiced in early Indo-Aryan society. Horse-trappings indicate the importance of the horse to the economy of the Gandharan grave culture. Two horse burials indicate the importance of the horse in other respects. Horse burial is a custom that Gandharan grave culture has in common with Andronovo, though not within the distinctive timber-frame graves of the steppe. [165]

The dramatic new discovery of cart burials dated to c. 1900 at Sinauli have been reviewed in this paper, and they support my proposal of a pre-Ṛvedic wave (now set of waves) of Aryan speakers arriving in South Asia and their making contact with the Late Harappans. [166]

Spread of Vedic-Brahmanic culture

During the Early Vedic Period (c. 1500–800 BCE [web 9] ) the Indo-Aryan culture was centered in the northern Punjab, or Sapta Sindhu. [web 9] During the Later Vedic Period (c. 800–500 BCE [web 10] ) the Indo-Aryan culture started to extend into the western Ganges Plain, [web 10] centering on the Vedic Kuru and Panchala area, [157] and had some influence [167] at the central Ganges Plain after 500 BCE. [web 11] Sixteen Mahajanapada developed at the Ganges Plain, of which the Kuru and Panchala became the most notable developed centers of Vedic culture, at the western Ganges Plain. [web 10] [157]

The Central Ganges Plain, where Magadha gained prominence, forming the base of the Maurya Empire, was a distinct cultural area, [168] with new states arising after 500 BCE [web 11] during the so-called "Second urbanisation". [169] [note 20] It was influenced by the Vedic culture, [167] but differed markedly from the Kuru-Panchala region. [168] It "was the area of the earliest known cultivation of rice in the Indian subcontinent and by 1800 BCE was the location of an advanced neolithic population associated with the sites of Chirand and Chechar". [170] In this region the Shramanic movements flourished, and Jainism and Buddhism originated. [157]

Indus Valley Civilization

The Indo-Aryan migration into the northern Punjab started shortly after the decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC). According to the "Aryan Invasion Theory" this decline was caused by "invasions" of barbaric and violent Aryans who conquered the IVC. This "Aryan Invasion Theory" is not supported by the archeological and genetic data, and is not representative of the "Indo-Aryan migration theory". [ citation needed ]

Decline of Indus Valley Civilisation

The decline of the IVC from about 1900 BCE started before the onset of the Indo-Aryan migrations, caused by aridisation due to shifting mossoons. [171] [172] A regional cultural discontinuity occurred during the second millennium BCE and many Indus Valley cities were abandoned during this period, while many new settlements began to appear in Gujarat and East Punjab and other settlements such as in the western Bahawalpur region increased in size.

Jim G. Shaffer and Lichtenstein contend that in the second millennium BCE considerable "location processes" took place. In the eastern Punjab 79.9% and in Gujarat 96% of sites changed settlement status. According to Shaffer & Lichtenstein,

It is evident that a major geographic population shift accompanied this 2nd millennium BCE localisation process. This shift by Harappan and, perhaps, other Indus Valley cultural mosaic groups, is the only archaeologically documented west-to-east movement of human populations in the Indian subcontinent before the first half of the first millennium B.C. [173]

Continuity of Indus Valley civilization

According to Erdosy, the ancient Harappans were not markedly different from modern populations in Northwestern India and present-day Pakistan. Craniometric data showed similarity with prehistoric peoples of the Iranian plateau and Western Asia, [note 21] although Mohenjo-daro was distinct from the other areas of the Indus Valley. [note 22] [note 23]

According to Kennedy, there is no evidence of "demographic disruptions" after the decline of the Harappa culture. [175] [note 24] Kenoyer notes that no biological evidence can be found for major new populations in post-Harappan communities. [176] [note 25] Hemphill notes that "patterns of phonetic affinity" between Bactria and the Indus Valley Civilisation are best explained by "a pattern of long-standing, but low-level bidirectional mutual exchange". [note 26]

According to Kennedy, the Cemetery H culture "shows clear biological affinities" with the earlier population of Harappa. [177] The archaeologist Kenoyer noted that this culture "may only reflect a change in the focus of settlement organization from that which was the pattern of the earlier Harappan phase and not cultural discontinuity, urban decay, invading aliens, or site abandonment, all of which have been suggested in the past." [178] Recent excavations in 2008 at Alamgirpur, Meerut District, appeared to show an overlap between the Harappan and PGW [ expand acronym ] pottery [179] indicating cultural continuity.

Relation with Indo-Aryan migrations

According to Kenoyer, the decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation is not explained by Aryan migrations, [180] [note 27] which took place after the decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Yet, according to Erdosy,

Evidence in material culture for systems collapse, abandonment of old beliefs and large-scale, if localised, population shifts in response to ecological catastrophe in the 2nd millennium B.C. must all now be related to the spread of Indo-Aryan languages. [181]

Erdosy, testing hypotheses derived from linguistic evidence against hypotheses derived from archaeological data, [182] states that there is no evidence of "invasions by a barbaric race enjoying technological and military superiority", [183] but "some support was found in the archaeological record for small-scale migrations from Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent in the late 3rd/early 2nd millennia BCE". [184] According to Erdosy, the postulated movements within Central Asia can be placed within a processional framework, replacing simplistic concepts of "diffusion", "migrations" and "invasions". [185]

Scholars have argued that the historical Vedic culture is the result of an amalgamation of the immigrating Indo-Aryans with the remnants of the indigenous civilization, such as the Ochre Coloured Pottery culture. Such remnants of IVC [ expand acronym ] culture are not prominent in the Rigveda, with its focus on chariot warfare and nomadic pastoralism in stark contrast with an urban civilization.

Inner Asia – Wusun and Yuezhi

According to Christopher I. Beckwith the Wusun, an Indo-European Caucasian people of Inner Asia in antiquity, were also of Indo-Aryan origin. [149] From the Chinese term Wusun, Beckwith reconstructs the Old Chinese *âswin, which he compares to the Old Indic aśvin "the horsemen", the name of the Rigvedic twin equestrian gods. [149] Beckwith suggests that the Wusun were an eastern remnant of the Indo-Aryans, who had been suddenly pushed to the extremeties of the Eurasian Steppe by the Iranian peoples in the 2nd millennium BCE. [186]

The Wusun are first mentioned [ when? ] by Chinese sources as vassals in the Tarim Basin of the Yuezhi, [187] another Indo-European Caucasian people of possible Tocharian stock. [188] [189] Around 175 BCE, the Yuezhi were utterly defeated by the Xiongnu, also former vassals of the Yuezhi. [189] [190] The Yuezhi subsequently attacked the Wusun and killed their king (Kunmo Chinese: 昆莫 or Kunmi Chinese: 昆彌 ) Nandoumi (Chinese: 難兜靡 ), capturing the Ili Valley from the Saka (Scythians) shortly afterwards. [190] In return the Wusun settled in the former territories of the Yuezhi as vassals of the Xiongnu. [190] [191]

The son of Nandoumi was adopted by the Xiongnu king and made leader of the Wusun. [191] Around 130 BCE he attacked and utterly defeated the Yuezhi, settling the Wusun in the Ili Valley. [191] After the Yuezhi were defeated by the Xiongnu, in the 2nd century BCE, a small group, known as the Little Yuezhi, fled to the south, while the majority migrated west to the Ili Valley, where they displaced the Sakas (Scythians). Driven from the Ili Valley shortly afterwards by the Wusun, the Yuezhi migrated to Sogdia and then Bactria, where they are often identified with the Tókharoi (Τοχάριοι) and Asii of Classical sources. They then expanded into northern Indian subcontinent, where one branch of the Yuezhi founded the Kushan Empire. The Kushan empire stretched from Turpan in the Tarim Basin to Pataliputra on the Indo-Gangetic Plain at its greatest extent, and played an important role in the development of the Silk Road and the transmission of Buddhism to China.

Soon after 130 BCE the Wusun became independent of the Xiongnu, becoming trusted vassals of the Han dynasty and powerful force in the region for centuries. [191] With the emerging steppe federations of the Rouran, the Wusun migrated into the Pamir Mountains in the 5th century CE. [190] They are last mentioned in 938 when a Wusun chieftain paid tribute to the Liao dynasty. [190]

Second wave – Iranians

The first Iranians to reach the Black Sea may have been the Cimmerians in the 8th century BCE, although their linguistic affiliation is uncertain. They were followed by the Scythians [ when? ] , who would dominate the area, at their height, from the Carpathian Mountains in the west, to the easternmost fringes of Central Asia in the east. For most of their [ who? ] existence, they were based in what is modern-day Ukraine and southern European Russia. Sarmatian tribes, of whom the best known are the Roxolani (Rhoxolani), Iazyges (Jazyges) and the Alans, followed the Scythians westwards into Europe in the late centuries BCE and the 1st and 2nd centuries of the Common Era (The Migration Period). The populous Sarmatian tribe of the Massagetae, dwelling near the Caspian Sea, were known to the early rulers of Persia in the Achaemenid Period. In the east, the Scythians occupied several areas in Xinjiang, from Khotan to Tumshuq.

The Medes, Parthians and Persians begin to appear on the western Iranian Plateau from c. 800 BCE, after which they remained under Assyrian rule for several centuries, as it was with the rest of the peoples in the Near East. The Achaemenids replaced Median rule from 559 BCE. Around the first millennium of the Common Era (AD), the Kambojas, the Pashtuns and the Baloch began to settle on the eastern edge of the Iranian Plateau, on the mountainous frontier of northwestern and western Pakistan, displacing the earlier Indo-Aryans from the area.

In Central Asia, the Turkic languages have marginalized Iranian languages as a result of the Turkic migration of the early centuries CE. In Eastern Europe, Slavic and Germanic peoples assimilated and absorbed the native Iranian languages (Scythian and Sarmatian) of the region. Extant major Iranian languages are Persian, Pashto, Kurdish, and Balochi, besides numerous smaller ones.

Elite dominance

Small groups can change a larger cultural area, [23] [13] and elite male dominance by small groups may have led to a language shift in northern India. [24] [25] [26] [note 28] Thapar notes that Indo-Aryan chiefs may have provided protection to non-Aryan agriculturalists, offering a system of patronage placing the chiefs in a superior position. This would have involved bilingualism, resulting in the adoption of Indo-Aryan languages by local populations. [192] According to Parpola, local elites joined "small but powerful groups" of Indo-European speaking migrants. [20] These migrants had an attractive social system and good weapons, and luxury goods which marked their status and power. Joining these groups was attractive for local leaders, since it strengthened their position, and gave them additional advantages. [30] These new members were further incorporated by matrimonial alliances. [31] [21]

Renfrew: models of "linguistic replacement"

Basu et al. refer to Renfrew, who described four models for "linguistic replacement": [24] [193]

  1. The demographic-subsistence model, exemplified by the process of agricultural dispersal, in which the incoming group has exploitive technologies which makes them dominant. It may lead to significant gene flow, and significant genetic changes in the population. But it may also lead to acculturalisation, in which case the technologies are taken over, but there is less change in the genetic composition of the population
  2. The existence of extended trading systems which lead to the development of a lingua franca, in which case some gene flow is to be expected
  3. The elite dominance model, in which "a relatively small but well-organized group [. ] take[s] over the system". [194] Given the small size of the elite, its genetic influence may also be small, though "preferential access to marriage partners" may result in a relatively strong influence on the gene pool. Sexual asymmetry may also be of influence: incoming elites often consist mostly of males, who have no influence on the mitochondrial DNA of the gene pool, but may influence the Y chromosomes of the gene pool
  4. System collapse, in which territorial boundaries are changed, and elite dominance may appear for a while.

David Anthony: elite recruitment

David Anthony, in his "revised Steppe hypothesis" [27] notes that the spread of the Indo-European languages probably did not happen through "chain-type folk migrations", but by the introduction of these languages by ritual and political elites, which are emulated by large groups of people. [28] [note 3] [note 29] Anthony gives the example of the Southern Luo-speaking Acholi in northern Uganda in the 17th and 18th century, whose language spread rapidly in the 19th century. [25] Anthony notes that "Indo-European languages probably spread in a similar way among the tribal societies of prehistoric Europe", carried forward by "Indo-European chiefs" and their "ideology of political clientage". [29] Anthony notes that "elite recruitment" may be a suitable term for this system. [29] [note 30]

Michael Witzel: small groups and acculturation

Michael Witzel refers to Ehret's model [note 31] "which stresses the osmosis, or a 'billiard ball', or Mallory's Kulturkugel, effect of cultural transmission". [23] According to Ehret, ethnicity and language can shift with relative ease in small societies, due to the cultural, economic and military choices made by the local population in question. The group bringing new traits may initially be small, contributing features that can be fewer in number than those of the already local culture. The emerging combined group may then initiate a recurrent, expansionist process of ethnic and language shift. [23]

Witzel notes that "arya/ārya does not mean a particular 'people' or even a particular 'racial' group but all those who had joined the tribes speaking Vedic Sanskrit and adhering to their cultural norms (such as ritual, poetry, etc.)." [197] According to Witzel, "there must have been a long period of acculturation between the local population and the 'original' immigrants speaking Indo-Aryan." [197] Witzel also notes that the speakers of Indo-Aryan and the local population must have been bilingual, speaking each other's languages and interacting with each other, before the Rg Veda was composed in the Punjab. [198]

Salmons: systematic changes in community structure

Joseph Salmons notes that Anthony presents scarce concrete evidence or arguments. [199] Salmons is critical about the notion of "prestige" as a central factor in the shift to Indo-European languages, referring to Milroy who notes that "prestige" is "a cover term for a variety of very distinct notions". [199] Instead, Milroy offers "arguments built around network structure", though Salmons also notes that Anthony includes several of those arguments, "including political and technological advantages". [199] According to Salmons, the best model is offered by Fishman, [note 32] who

. understands shift in terms of geographical, social, and cultural "dislocation" of language communities. Social dislocation, to give the most relevant example, involves "siphoning off the talented, the enterprising, the imaginative and the creative" ([Fishman] 1991: 61), and sounds strikingly like Anthony's 'recruitment' scenario. [32]

Salmons himself argues that

. systematic changes in community structure are what drive language shift, incorporating Milroy's network structures as well. The heart of the view is the quintessential element of modernization, namely a shift from local community-internal organization to regional (state or national or international, in modern settings), extra-community organizations. Shift correlates with this move from pre-dominantly "horizontal" community structures to more "vertical" ones. [32] [note 4]

India has one of the most genetically diverse populations in the world, and the history of this genetic diversity is the topic of continued research and debate. The Indo-Aryan migrations form part of a complex genetical puzzle on the origin and spread of the various components of the Indian population, including various waves of admixture and language shift. The genetic impact of the Indo-Aryans may have been marginal, but this is not at odds with the cultural and linguistic influence, since language shift is possible without a change in genetics. [201]

Ancestral groups

Common maternal ancestry

Sahoo et al. (2006) states that "there is general agreement [ clarification needed ] that Indian caste and tribal populations share a common late Pleistocene maternal ancestry in India."

Kivisild et al. (1999) concluded that there is "an extensive deep late Pleistocene [ jargon ] genetic link between contemporary Europeans and Indians" via the mitochondrial DNA, that is, DNA which is inherited from the mother. According to them, the two groups split at the time of the peopling of Asia and Eurasia and before modern humans entered Europe. [33] Kivisild et al. (2000) note that "the sum of any recent (the last 15,000 years) western mtDNA gene flow to India comprises, in average, less than 10 percent of the contemporary Indian mtDNA lineages." [web 4]

Kivisild et al. (2003) and Sharma (2005) harvtxt error: no target: CITEREFSharma2005 (help) note that north and south Indians share a common maternal ancestry: Kivisild et al. (2003) further note that "these results show that Indian tribal and caste populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of Pleistocene [ jargon ] southern and western Asians and have received limited gene flow from external regions since the Holocene. [ jargon ] [34]

"Ancestral North Indians" and "Ancestral South Indians"

Reich et al. (2009), in a collaborative effort between the Harvard Medical School and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), examined the entire genomes worth 560,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), as compared to 420 SNPs in prior work. They also cross-compared them with the genomes of other regions available in the global genome database. [202] Through this study, they were able to discern two genetic groups in the majority of populations in India, which they called "Ancestral North Indians" (ANI) and "Ancestral South Indians" (ASI). [note 33] They found that the ANI genes are close to those of Middle Easterners, Central Asians and Europeans whereas the ASI genes are dissimilar to all other known populations outside India, though the indigenous Andamanese were determined to be the most closely related to the ASI population of any living group (albeit distinct from the ASI). [note 34] [note 35] These two distinct groups, which had split ca. 50,000 years ago, formed the basis for the present population of India. [web 12]

The two groups mixed between 1,900 and 4,200 years ago (2200 BCE – 100 CE), where-after a shift to endogamy took place and admixture became rare. [note 36] Speaking to Fountain Ink, David Reich stated, "Prior to 4,200 years ago, there were unmixed groups in India. Sometime between 1,900 to 4,200 years ago, profound, pervasive convulsive mixture occurred, affecting every Indo-European and Dravidian group in India without exception." Reich pointed out that their work does not show that a substantial migration occurred during this time. [web 13]

Metspalu et al. (2011), representing a collaboration between the Estonian Biocenter and CCMB, confirmed that the Indian populations are characterized by two major ancestry components. One of them is spread at comparable frequency and haplotype diversity in populations of South and West Asia and the Caucasus. The second component is more restricted to South Asia and accounts for more than 50% of the ancestry in Indian populations. Haplotype diversity associated with these South Asian ancestry components is significantly higher than that of the components dominating the West Eurasian ancestry palette. [38]

Additional components

ArunKumar et al. (2015) discern three major ancestry components, which they call "Southwest Asian", "Southeast Asian" and "Northeast Asian". The Southwest Asian component seems to be a native Indian component, while the Southeast Asian component is related to East Asian populations. [203] Brahmin [ needs context ] populations "contained 11.4 and 10.6% of Northern Eurasian and Mediterranean components, thereby suggesting a shared ancestry with the Europeans". They note that this fits with earlier studies which "suggested similar shared ancestries with Europeans and Mediterraneans". [203] They further note that

Studies based on uni-parental marker have shown diverse Y-chromosomal haplogroups making up the Indian gene pool. Many of these Y-chromosomal markers show a strong correlation to the linguistic affiliation of the population. The genome-wide variation of the Indian samples in the present study correlated with the linguistic affiliation of the sample. [204]

They conclude that, while there may have been an ancient settlement in the subcontinent, "male-dominated genetic elements shap[ed] the Indian gene pool", and that these elements "have earlier been correlated to various languages", and further note "the fluidity of female gene pools when in a patriarchal and patrilocal society, such as that of India". [205]

Basu et al. (2016) extend the study of Reich et al. (2009) by postulating two other populations in addition to the ANI and ASI: "Ancestral Austro-Asiatic" (AAA) and "Ancestral Tibeto-Burman" (ATB), corresponding to the Austroasiatic and Tibeto-Burman language speakers. [40] According to them, ancestral populations seem to have occupied geographically separated habitats. [41] The ASI and the AAA were early [ when? ] settlers, who possibly arrived via the southern wave out of Africa. [41] The ANI are related to Central South Asians and entered India through the northwest, while the ATB are related to East Asians and entered India through northeast corridors. [41] They further note that

The asymmetry of admixture, with ANI populations providing genomic inputs to tribal populations (AA, Dravidian tribe, and TB) but not vice versa, is consistent with elite dominance and patriarchy. Males from dominant populations, possibly upper castes, with high ANI component, mated outside of their caste, but their offspring were not allowed to be inducted into the caste. This phenomenon has been previously observed as asymmetry in homogeneity of mtDNA and heterogeneity of Y-chromosomal haplotypes in tribal populations of India as well as the African Americans in United States. [41]

Male-mediated migration

Reich et al. (2009), citing Kivisild et al. (1999), indicate that there has been a low influx of female genetic material since 50,000 years ago, but a "male gene flow from groups with more ANI relatedness into ones with less". [37] [note 37]

ArunKumar et al. (2015) "suggest that ancient male-mediated migratory events and settlement in various regional niches led to the present day scenario and peopling of India." [206]

North-south cline

According to Metspalu et al. (2011) there is "a general principal component cline stretching from Europe to south India". This northwest component is shared with populations from the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, and is thought to represent at least one ancient influx of people from the northwest. [207] [ clarification needed ] According to Saraswathy et al. (2010), there is "a major genetic contribution from Eurasia to North Indian upper castes" and a "greater genetic inflow among North Indian caste populations than is observed among South Indian caste and tribal populations". [web 14] According to Basu et al. (2003) and Saraswathy et al. (2010) certain sample populations of upper caste North Indians show a stronger affinity to Central Asian caucasians, whereas southern Indian Brahmins show a less stronger affinity. [web 14]


While Reich notes that the onset of admixture coincides with the arrival of Indo-European language, [web 2] [note 38] according to Metspalu (2011), the commonalities of the ANI with European genes cannot be explained by the influx of Indo-Aryans at ca. 3,500 BP alone. [208] They state that the split of ASI and ANI predates the Indo-Aryan migration, [38] both of these ancestry components being older than 3,500 BP." [209] [web 15] Moorjani (2013) states that "We have further shown that groups with unmixed ANI and ASI ancestry were plausibly living in India until this time." [210] Moorjani (2013) describes three scenarios regarding the bringing together of the two groups: [42]

  1. "migrations that occurred prior to the development of agriculture [8,000–9,000 years before present (BP)]. Evidence for this comes from mitochondrial DNA studies, which have shown that the mitochondrial haplogroups (hg U2, U7, and W) that are most closely shared between Indians and West Eurasians diverged about 30,000–40,000 years BP."
  2. "Western Asian peoples migrated to India along with the spread of agriculture [. ] Any such agriculture related migrations would probably have begun at least 8,000–9,000 years BP (based on the dates for Mehrgarh) and may have continued into the period of the Indus civilization that began around 4,600 years BP and depended upon West Asian crops."
  3. "migrations from Western or Central Asia from 3,000 to 4,000 years BP, a time during which it is likely that Indo-European languages began to be spoken in the subcontinent. A difficulty with this theory, however, is that by this time India was a densely populated region with widespread agriculture, so the number of migrants of West Eurasian ancestry must have been extraordinarily large to explain the fact that today about half the ancestry in India derives from the ANI."

Pre-agricultural migrations

Metspalu et al. (2011) detected a genetic component in India, k5, which "distributed across the Indus Valley, Central Asia, and the Caucasus". [211] According to Metspalu et al. (2011), k5 "might represent the genetic vestige of the ANI", though they also note that the geographic cline of this component within India "is very weak, which is unexpected under the ASI-ANI model", explaining that the ASI-ANI model implies an ANI contribution which decreases toward southern India. [212] According to Metspalu et al. (2011), "regardless of where this component was from (the Caucasus, Near East, Indus Valley, or Central Asia), its spread to other regions must have occurred well before our detection limits at 12,500 years." [213] Speaking to Fountain Ink, Metspalu said, "the West Eurasian component in Indians appears to come from a population that diverged genetically from people actually living in Eurasia, and this separation happened at least 12,500 years ago." [web 13] [note 39] Moorjani et al. (2013) refer to Metspalu (2011) [note 40] as "fail[ing] to find any evidence for shared ancestry between the ANI and groups in West Eurasia within the past 12,500 years". [217] CCMB researcher Thangaraj believes that "it was much longer ago", and that "the ANI came to India in a second wave of migration [note 41] that happened perhaps 40,000 years ago." [web 13]

Narasimhan et al. (2019) conclude that ANI and ASI were formed in the 2nd millennium BCE. [218] They were preceded by IVC-people, a mixture of AASI (ancient ancestral south Indians, that is, hunter-gatherers related), and people related to but distinct from Iranian agri-culturalists, lacking the Anatolian farmer-related ancestry which was common in Iranian farmers after 6000 BCE. [219] [note 42] [note 43] Those Iranian farmers-related people may have arrived in India before the advent of farming in northern India, [219] and mixed with people related to Indian hunter-gatherers ca. 5400 to 3700 BCE, before the advent of the mature IVC. [224] [note 44] This mixed IVC-population, which probably was native to the Indus Valley Civilisation, "contributed in large proportions to both the ANI and ASI", which took shape during the 2nd millennium BCE. ANI formed out of a mixture of "Indus_Periphery-related groups" and migrants from the steppe, while ASI was formed out of "Indus_Periphery-related groups" who moved south and mixed with hunter-gatherers. [226]

Agricultural migrations

Near-Eastern migrations

Kivisild et al. (1999) note that "a small fraction of the 'Caucasoid-specific' mtDNA lineages found in Indian populations can be ascribed to a relatively recent admixture." [214] at ca. 9,300 ± 3,000 years before present, [227] which coincides with "the arrival to India of cereals domesticated in the fertile Crescent" and "lends credence to the suggested linguistic connection between Elamite and Dravidic populations". [227] [note 7]

According to Gallego Romero et al. (2011), their research on lactose tolerance in India suggests that "the west Eurasian genetic contribution identified by Reich et al. (2009) principally reflects gene flow from Iran and the Middle East." [43] Gallego Romero notes that Indians who are lactose-tolerant show a genetic pattern regarding this tolerance which is "characteristic of the common European mutation". [web 3] According to Gallego Romero, this suggests that "the most common lactose tolerance mutation made a two-way migration out of the Middle East less than 10,000 years ago. While the mutation spread across Europe, another explorer must have brought the mutation eastward to India – likely traveling along the coast of the Persian Gulf where other pockets of the same mutation have been found." [web 3] In contrast, Allentoft et al. (2015) found that lactose-tolerance was absent in the Yamnaya culture, noting that while "the Yamnaya and these other Bronze Age cultures herded cattle, goats, and sheep, they couldn't digest raw milk as adults. Lactose tolerance was still rare among Europeans and Asians at the end of the Bronze Age, just 2000 years ago." [web 16] [113]

According to Lazaridis et al. (2016), "farmers related to those from Iran spread northward into the Eurasian steppe and people related to both the early farmers of Iran and to the pastoralists of the Eurasian steppe spread eastward into South Asia." [44] They further note that ANI "can be modelled as a mix of ancestry related to both early farmers of western Iran and to people of the Bronze Age Eurasian steppe". [44] [note 45]

Haplogroup R1a and related haplogroups

The distribution and proposed origin of haplogroup R1a, more specifically R1a1a1b, is often being used as an argument pro or contra the Indo-Aryan migrations. It is found in high frequencies in Eastern Europe (Z282) and south Asia (Z93), the areas of the Indo-European migrations. The place of origin of this haplogroup may give an indication of the "homeland" of the Indo-Europeans, and the direction of the first migrations. [230]

Cordeaux et al. (2004), based on the spread of a cluster of haplogroups (J2, R1a, R2, and L) in India, with higher rates in northern India, [231] argue that agriculture in south India spread with migrating agriculturalists, which also influenced the genepool in south India. [232] [231]

Sahoo et al. (2006), in response to Cordeaux et al. (2004), suggest that those haplogroups originated in India, based on the spread of these various haplogroups in India. According to Sahoo et al. (2006), this spread "argue[s] against any major influx, from regions north and west of India, of people associated either with the development of agriculture or the spread of the Indo-Aryan language family". [231] They further propose that "the high incidence of R1* and R1a throughout Central Asian and East European populations (without R2 and R* in most cases) is more parsimoniously explained by gene flow in the opposite direction", [233] which according to Sahoo et al. (2006) explains the "sharing of some Y-chromosomal haplogroups between Indian and Central Asian populations". [231]

Sengupta et al. (2006) also comment on Cordeaux et al. (2004), stating that "the influence of Central Asia on the pre-existing gene pool was minor", and arguing for "a peninsular origin of Dravidian speakers than a source with proximity to the Indus and with significant genetic input resulting from demic diffusion associated with agriculture". [234]

Sharma et al. (2009) found a high frequency of R1a1 in India. They therefore argue for an Indian origin of R1a1, and dispute "the origin of Indian higher most castes from Central Asian and Eurasian regions, supporting their origin within the Indian subcontinent". [235]

Underhill et al. (2014/2015) conclude that R1a1a1, the most frequent subclade of R1a, split into Z282 (Europe) and Z93 (Asia) at circe 5,800 before present. [236] According to Underhill et al. (2014/2015), "[t]his suggests the possibility that R1a lineages accompanied demic expansions initiated during the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages." [237] They further note that the diversification of Z93 and the "early urbanization within the Indus Valley also occurred at this time and the geographic distribution of R1a-M780 (Figure 3d) may reflect this". [237]

Palanichamy et al. (2015), while responding to Cordeaux et al. (2004), Sahoo et al. (2006) and Sengupta et al. (2006), elaborated on Kivisild et al.'s (1999) suggestion that West Eurasian haplogroups "may have been spread by the early Neolithic migrations of proto-Dravidian farmers spreading from the eastern horn of the Fertile Crescent into India". [238] They conclude that "the L1a lineage arrived from western Asia during the Neolithic period and perhaps was associated with the spread of the Dravidian language to India", indicating that "the Dravidian language originated outside India and may have been introduced by pastoralists coming from western Asia (Iran)." [239] They further conclude that two subhalogroups originated with the Dravidian speaking peoples, and may have come to South India when the Dravidian language spread. [240]

Poznik et al. (2016) note that "striking expansions" occurred within R1a-Z93 at

4,500–4,000 years ago, which "predates by a few centuries the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation". [241] Mascarenhas et al. (2015) note that the expansion of Z93 from Transcaucasia into South Asia is compatible with "the archeological records of eastward expansion of West Asian populations in the 4th millennium BCE culminating in the so-called Kura-Araxes migrations in the post-Uruk IV period". [225]

Indo-European migrations

Genetic impact of Indo-Aryan migrations

Bamshad et al. (2001), Wells et al. (2002) and Basu et al. (2003) argue for an influx of Indo-European migrants into the Indian subcontinent, but not necessarily an "invasion of any kind". [web 17] Bamshad et al. (2001) notice that the correlation between caste-status and West Eurasian DNA may be explained by subsequent male immigration into the Indian subcontinent. Basu et al. (2003) argue that the Indian subcontinent was subjected to a series of Indo-European migrations about 1500 BCE.

Metspalu et al. (2011) note that "any nonmarginal migration from Central Asia to South Asia should have also introduced readily apparent signals of East Asian ancestry into India" (although this presupposes the unproven assumption that East Asian ancestry was present – to a significant extent – in prehistorical Central Asia), which is not the case, and conclude that if there was a major migration of Eurasians into India, this happened before the rise of the Yamna culture. [212] Based on Metspalu (2011), Lalji Singh, a co-author of Metspalu, concludes that "[t]here is no genetic evidence that Indo-Aryans invaded or migrated to India". [web 18] [web 19] [web 20] [note 46]

Moorjani et al. (2013) notes that the period of 4,200–1,900 years BP was a time of dramatic changes in northern India, and coincides with the "likely first appearance of Indo-European languages and Vedic religion in the subcontinent". [217] [note 47] Moorjani further notes that there must have been multiple waves of admixture, which had more impact on higher-caste and northern Indians and took place more recently. [210] [note 48] This may be explained by "additional gene flow", related to the spread of languages: [242]

. at least some of the history of population mixture in India is related to the spread of languages in the subcontinent. One possible explanation for the generally younger dates in northern Indians is that after an original mixture event of ANI and ASI that contributed to all present-day Indians, some northern groups received additional gene flow from groups with high proportions of West Eurasian ancestry, bringing down their average mixture date. [242] [note 49]

Palanichamy et al. (2015), elaborating on Kivisild et al. (1999) conclude that "A large proportion of the west Eurasian mtDNA haplogroups observed among the higher-ranked caste groups, their phylogenetic affinity and age estimate indicate recent Indo-Aryan migration to India from west Asia. [239] According to Palanichamy et al. (2015), "the west Eurasian admixture was restricted to caste rank. It is likely that Indo-Aryan migration has influenced the social stratification in the pre-existing populations and helped in building the Hindu caste system, but it should not be inferred that the contemporary Indian caste groups have directly descended from Indo-Aryan immigrants. [239] [note 50]

Jones et al. (2015) state that Caucasus hunter gatherer(CHG) [note 51] was "a major contributor to the Ancestral North Indian component". According to Jones et al. (2015), it "may be linked with the spread of Indo-European languages", but they also note that "earlier movements associated with other developments such as that of cereal farming and herding are also plausible". [247]

Basu et al. (2016) note that the ANI are inseparable from Central-South Asian populations in present-day Pakistan. They hypothesise that "the root of ANI is in Central Asia". [248]

According to Lazaridis et al. (2016) ANI "can be modelled as a mix of ancestry related to both early farmers of western Iran and to people of the Bronze Age Eurasian steppe". [44]

Silva et al. (2017) state that "the recently refined Y-chromosome tree strongly suggests that R1a is indeed a highly plausible marker for the long-contested Bronze Age spread of Indo-Aryan speakers into South Asia." [249] [note 52] Silva et al. (2017) further notes "they likely spread from a single Central Asian source pool, there do seem to be at least three and probably more R1a founder clades within the Subcontinent, consistent with multiple waves of arrival."

Narasimhan et al. (2018) conclude that pastoralists spread southwards from the Eurasian steppe during the period 2300–1500 BCE. These pastoralists during the 2nd millennium BCE, who were likely associated with Indo-European languages, presumably mixed with the descendants of the Indus Valley Civilisation, who in turn were a mix of Iranian agriculturalists and South Asian hunter-gatherers forming "the single most important source of ancestry in South Asia." [226]

Zerjal et al. (2002) argue that "multiple recent events" may have reshaped India's genetic landscape. [web 22]

Origins of R1a-Z93

Ornella Semino et al. (2000) proposed Ukrainian origins of R1a1, and a postglacial spread of the R1a1 gene during the Late Glacial, subsequently magnified by the expansion of the Kurgan culture into Europe and eastward. [250] Spencer Wells proposes central Asian origins, suggesting that the distribution and age of R1a1 points to an ancient migration corresponding to the spread by the Kurgan people in their expansion from the Eurasian Steppe. [251] According to Pamjav et al. (2012), "Inner and Central Asia is an overlap zone for the R1a1-Z280 and R1a1-Z93 lineages [which] implies that an early differentiation zone of R1a1-M198 conceivably occurred somewhere within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and Caucasus region as they lie between South Asia and Eastern Europe." [252] [249]

A 2014 study by Peter A. Underhill et al., using 16,244 individuals from over 126 populations from across Eurasia, concluded that there was compelling evidence that "the initial episodes of haplogroup R1a diversification likely occurred in the vicinity of present-day Iran." [253]

According to Martin P. Richards, co-author of Silva et al. (2017) harvp error: no target: CITEREFSilva_et_al.2017 (help) , "[the prevalence of R1a in India was] very powerful evidence for a substantial Bronze Age migration from central Asia that most likely brought Indo-European speakers to India." [254] [note 53]



The oldest inscriptions in Old Indic, the language of the Rig Veda, is found not in India, but in northern Syria in Hittite records regarding one of their neighbors, the Hurrian-speaking Mitanni. In a treaty with the Hittites, the king of Mitanni, after swearing by a series of Hurrian gods, swears by the gods Mitrašil, Uruvanaššil, Indara, and Našatianna, who correspond to the Vedic gods Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nāsatya (Aśvin). Contemporary [ when? ] equestrian terminology, as recorded in a horse-training manual whose author is identified as "Kikkuli", contains Indo-Aryan loanwords. The personal names and gods of the Mitanni aristocracy also bear significant traces of Indo-Aryan. Because of the association of Indo-Aryan with horsemanship and the Mitanni aristocracy, it is presumed that, after superimposing themselves as rulers on a native Hurrian-speaking population about the 15th–16th centuries BCE, Indo-Aryan charioteers were absorbed into the local population and adopted the Hurrian language. [255]

Brentjes argues that there is not a single cultural element of central Asian, Eastern European, or Caucasian origin in the Mitannian area he also associates with an Indo-Aryan presence the peacock motif found in the Middle East from before 1600 BCE and quite likely from before 2100 BCE. [256]

Scholars reject the possibility that the Indo-Aryans of Mitanni came from the Indian subcontinent as well as the possibility that the Indo-Aryans of the Indian subcontinent came from the territory of Mitanni, leaving migration from the north the only likely scenario. [note 54] The presence of some Bactria-Margiana loan words in Mitanni, Old Iranian and Vedic further strengthens this scenario. [257] [ contradictory ]

Iranian Avesta

The religious practices depicted in the Rigveda and those depicted in the Avesta, the central religious text of Zoroastrianism—the ancient Iranian faith founded by the prophet Zoroaster—have in common the deity Mitra, priests called hotṛ in the Rigveda and zaotar in the Avesta, and the use of a ritual substance that the Rigveda calls soma and the Avesta haoma. However, the Indo-Aryan deva 'god' is cognate with the Iranian daēva 'demon'. Similarly, the Indo-Aryan asura 'name of a particular group of gods' (later on, 'demon') is cognate with the Iranian ahura 'lord, god,' which 19th and early 20th century authors such as Burrow explained as a reflection of religious rivalry between Indo-Aryans and Iranians. [258]

Linguists such as Burrow argue that the strong similarity between the Avestan of the Gāthās—the oldest part of the Avesta—and the Vedic Sanskrit of the Rigveda pushes the dating of Zarathustra or at least the Gathas closer to the conventional Rigveda dating of 1500–1200 BCE, i.e. 1100 BCE, possibly earlier. Boyce concurs with a lower date of 1100 BCE and tentatively proposes an upper date of 1500 BCE. Gnoli dates the Gathas to around 1000 BCE, as does Mallory (1989), with the caveat of a 400-year leeway on either side, i.e. between 1400 and 600 BCE. Therefore, the date of the Avesta could also indicate the date of the Rigveda. [259]

There is mention in the Avesta of Airyan Vaejah, one of the '16 the lands of the Aryans'. [260] Gnoli's interpretation of geographic references in the Avesta situates the Airyanem Vaejah in the Hindu Kush. For similar reasons, Boyce excludes places north of the Syr Darya and western Iranian places. With some reservations, Skjaervo concurs that the evidence of the Avestan texts makes it impossible to avoid the conclusion that they were composed somewhere in northeastern Iran. Witzel points to the central Afghan highlands. Humbach derives Vaējah from cognates of the Vedic root "vij", suggesting the region of fast-flowing rivers. Gnoli considers Choresmia (Xvairizem), the lower Oxus region, south of the Aral Sea to be an outlying area in the Avestan world. However, according to Mallory & Mair (2000), the probable homeland of Avestan is, in fact, the area south of the Aral Sea. [261]

Geographical location of Rigvedic rivers

The geography of the Rigveda seems to be centered on the land of the seven rivers. While the geography of the Rigvedic rivers is unclear in some of the early books of the Rigveda, the Nadistuti sukta is an important source for the geography of late Rigvedic society.

The Sarasvati River is one of the chief Rigvedic rivers. The Nadistuti sukta in the Rigveda mentions the Sarasvati between the Yamuna in the east and the Sutlej in the west, and later texts like the Brahmanas and Mahabharata mention that the Sarasvati dried up in a desert. [262]

Scholars agree that at least some of the references to the Sarasvati in the Rigveda refer to the Ghaggar-Hakra River, [49] while the Afghan river Haraxvaiti/Harauvati Helmand is sometimes quoted as the locus of the early Rigvedic river. [50] Whether such a transfer of the name has taken place from the Helmand to the Ghaggar-Hakra is a matter of dispute. Identification of the early Rigvedic Sarasvati with the Ghaggar-Hakra before its assumed drying up early in the second millennium would place the Rigveda BCE, [web 23] well outside the range commonly assumed by Indo-Aryan migration theory.

A non-Indo-Aryan substratum in the river-names and place-names of the Rigvedic homeland would support an external origin of the Indo-Aryans. [ citation needed ] However, most place-names in the Rigveda and the vast majority of the river-names in the north-west of the Indian subcontinent are Indo-Aryan. [263] Non-Indo-Aryan names are, however, frequent in the Ghaggar and Kabul River areas, [264] the first being a post-Harappan stronghold of Indus populations. [ citation needed ]

Textual references to migrations


Just as the Avesta does not mention an external homeland of the Zoroastrians, the Rigveda does not explicitly refer to an external homeland [51] or to a migration. [52] [note 55] Later Hindu texts, such as the Brahmanas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Puranas, are centered in the Ganges region (rather than Haryana and Punjab) and mention regions still further to the south and east, suggesting a later movement or expansion of the Vedic religion and culture to the east. There is no clear indication of general movement in either direction in the Rigveda itself searching for indirect references in the text, or by correlating geographic references with the proposed order of composition of its hymns, has not led to any consensus on the issue. [ citation needed ]

Srauta Sutra of Baudhayana

According to Romila Thapar, the Srauta Sutra of Baudhayana "refers to the Parasus and the arattas who stayed behind and others who moved eastwards to the middle Ganges valley and the places equivalent such as the Kasi, the Videhas and the Kuru Pancalas, and so on. In fact, when one looks for them, there are evidence for migration." [web 24]

Later Vedic and Hindu texts

Texts like the Puranas and Mahabharata belong to a much later period than the Rigveda, making their evidence less than sufficient to be used for or against the Indo-Aryan migration theory. [ original research? ]

Later Vedic texts show a shift [ citation needed ] of location from the Punjab to the East. According to the Yajurveda, Yajnavalkya (a Vedic ritualist and philosopher) lived in the eastern region of Mithila. [265] Aitareya Brahmana 33.6.1. records that Vishvamitra's sons migrated to the north, and in Shatapatha Brahmana 1:2:4:10 the Asuras were driven to the north. [266] In much later texts, Manu was said to be a king from Dravida. [267] In the legend of the flood he stranded with his ship in Northwestern India or the Himalayas. [268] The Vedic lands (e.g. Aryavarta, Brahmavarta) are located in Northern India or at the Sarasvati and Drishadvati river. [269] However, in a post-Vedic text the Mahabharata Udyoga Parva (108), the East is described as the homeland of the Vedic culture, where "the divine Creator of the universe first sang the Vedas". [270] The legends of Ikshvaku, Sumati and other Hindu legends may have their origin in Southeast Asia. [271]

The Puranas record that Yayati left Prayag (confluence of the Ganges & Yamuna) and conquered the region of Sapta Sindhu. [272] [273] His five sons Yadu, Druhyus, Puru, Anu and Turvashu correspond to the main tribes of the Rigveda.

The Puranas also record that the Druhyus were driven out of the land of the seven rivers by Mandhatr and that their next king Gandhara settled in a north-western region which became known as Gandhara. The sons of the later Druhyu king Prachetas are supposed by some to have 'migrated' to the region north of Afghanistan though the Puranic texts only speak of an "adjacent" settlement. [274] [275]

Climate change and drought may have triggered both the initial dispersal of Indo-European speakers, and the migration of Indo-Europeans from the steppes in south-central Asia and India.

Around 4200–4100 BCE a climate change occurred, manifesting in colder winters in Europe. [55] Between 4200 and 3900 BCE many tell settlements in the lower Danube Valley were burned and abandoned, [55] while the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture showed an increase in fortifications, [276] meanwhile moving eastwards towards the Dniepr. [277] Steppe herders, archaic Proto-Indo-European speakers, spread into the lower Danube valley about 4200–4000 BCE, either causing or taking advantage of the collapse of Old Europe. [56]

The Yamna horizon was an adaptation to a climate change which occurred between 3500 and 3000 BCE, in which the steppes became drier and cooler. Herds needed to be moved frequently to feed them sufficiently, and the use of wagons and horse-back riding made this possible, leading to "a new, more mobile form of pastoralism". [57] It was accompanied by new social rules and institutions, to regulate the local migrations in the steppes, creating a new social awareness of a distinct culture, and of "cultural Others" who did not participate in these new institutions. [278]

In the second century BCE widespread aridization lead to water shortages and ecological changes in both the Eurasian steppes and south Asia. [web 1] [54] At the steppes, humidization lead a change of vegetation, triggering "higher mobility and transition to the nomadic cattle breeding". [54] [note 56] [note 57] Water shortage also had a strong impact in south Asia:

This time was one of great upheaval for ecological reasons. Prolonged failure of rains caused acute water shortage in a large area, causing the collapse of sedentary urban cultures in south-central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and India, and triggering large-scale migrations. Inevitably, the new arrivals came to merge with and dominate the post-urban cultures. [web 1]

The Indus Valley Civilisation was localised, that is, urban centers disappeared and were replaced by local cultures, due to a climatic change that is also signalled for the neighbouring areas of the Middle East. [279] As of 2016 [update] many scholars believe that drought and a decline in trade with Egypt and Mesopotamia caused the collapse of the Indus Civilisation. [280] The Ghaggar-Hakra system was rain-fed, [281] [282] [283] and water-supply depended on the monsoons. The Indus valley climate grew significantly cooler and drier from about 1800 BCE, linked to a general weakening of the monsoon at that time. [281] The Indian monsoon declined and aridity increased, with the Ghaggar-Hakra retracting its reach towards the foothills of the Himalaya, [281] [284] [285] leading to erratic and less extensive floods that made inundation agriculture less sustainable. Aridification reduced the water supply enough to cause the civilisation's demise, and to scatter its population eastward. [286] [287] [288]

Indian nationalistic opponents of the Indo-Aryan migration question it, and instead promote Indigenous Aryanism, claiming that speakers of Indo-Iranian languages (sometimes called Aryan languages) are "indigenous" to the Indian subcontinent. [289] [290] [291] [292] [note 58] [ dead link ] Indigenous Aryanism has no support in contemporary mainstream scholarship, as it is contradicted by a broad range of research on Indo-European migrations. [13] [note 59]

  1. ^ The term "invasion", while it was once commonly used in regard to Indo-Aryan migration, is now usually used only by opponents of the Indo-Aryan migration theory. [1] The term "invasion" does not any longer reflect the scholarly understanding of the Indo-Aryan migrations, [1] and is now generally regarded as polemical, distracting and unscholarly.
  2. ^ Michael Witzel: "Just one 'Afghan' IA tribe that did not return to the highlands but stayed in their Panjab winter quarters in spring was needed to set off a wave of acculturation in the plains, by transmitting its 'status kit' (Ehret) to its neighbors." [18]

Compare Max Muller: "why should not one shepherd, with his servants and flocks, have transferred his peculiar dialect from one part of Asia or Europe to another? This may seem a very humble and modest view of what was formerly represented as the irresistible stream of mighty waves rolling forth from the Aryan centre and gradually overflowing the mountains and valleys of Asia and Europe, but it is, at all events, a possible view nay, I should say a view far more in keeping with what we know of recent colonisation." [19]

  • Duperron, Anquetil (1808), Histoire et mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, de 1701 à 1793, imprimerie royale
  • Godfrey, John J. (1967). "Sir William Jones and Père Coeurdoux: A philological footnote". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 87 (1): 57–59. doi:10.2307/596596. JSTOR596596.

0% in Europe, and 'U2e' accounts for 0% of all copies in India but

10% in Europe. The split is

Another reason that people think that is that when you have languages coming in, not always but usually, they're brought by large movements of people. Hungarian is an exception. The Hungarians are mostly not descended from the people who brought Hungarian to Hungary. In general, languages typically tend to follow large movements of people.

On the other hand, once agriculture is established, as it has been for 5000 to 8000 years in India, it's very hard for a group to make a dent on it. The British didn't make any demographic dent on India even though they politically ruled it for a couple of hundred years.

45 kya, shortly after the expansion of anatomically modern humans into Europe and from the ancestors of Neolithic farmers

45 kya, shortly after the expansion of anatomically modern humans into Europe and from the ancestors of Neolithic farmers

In Its Own Words

"Happy Easter to all you n------ and s---- from your friends at the Aryan Nations!"
— Undated Aryan Nations flyer

"We are dangerous. Dangerous to the Jews, n------, and anyone else who poses a threat to the white race. What I find especially disturbing is the n------."
— Former Aryan Nations Ohio state leader and Christian Identity pastor Ray Redfeairn in a sermon from the 1990s, as recounted by onetime FBI informant Dave Hall

"The white race is the most endangered species on the face of the earth."
— Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler testifying in the 2000 civil trial brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center

Aryans in India : Origin, History, Spread and Expansion of Aryans in India

There has been a lot of controversy among the historians over the original homeland of the Aryans. The question as regards the original Aryans being Indians or foreigners is linked up with that of their original home.

Where did Aryans came from? There are two possibilities. Firstly, Indo-Aryans either came from outside India and penetrated deep into the Indian sub-continent, particularly the modern day India, Pakistan, and Nepal.

Secondly, there is another possibility that India is the primary homeland of Aryans and they went to foreign countries to settle there. We will get a better picture in the next sub-heading titled “Origin of the Aryans”.

Origin of the Aryans: There are two theories regarding the original home of the Aryans can be discussed in two ways:

1.1 Foreign origin of Aryans, and
1.2 Theory of Indian origin of the Aryans,
In early times, the Sanskrit term ‘Arya’ denoted a free man of noble birth belonging to a respectable family. Sir William Jones discovered a close relationship between Sanskrit and other ancient languages such as Greek, Latin, ancient Persian, Greek, Latin, Teutonic, etc. The term ‘Aryan‘ was used by William Jones as a linguistic expression.

The question naturally arises as to the original homeland or the origin of the people using Aryan language. The theory of both the foreign origin and Indian origin of Aryans have been discussed in this article.

1.1 Theory of Foreign origin of Aryans

According to the migration theory of the “Foreign origin of Aryans”, the Aryans were foreigners and they migrated to India during the Ancient times.

Some historians and scholars believe that the Aryans originated from West Asia i.e., West Asia was the original homeland of the Aryans. They found various linguistic evidences in the said region. A group of people from west Asia migrated through Asia Minor, to Europe, while another group came to India after crossing its north-western frontier.

Central Asia: Several arguments are available in support of the Central Asian origin of the Aryans. It was in Central Asia that the ancient civilizations grew up. In this connection, firstly, scholars refers to the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations. Secondly, history of the later period makes us know that a mammoth racial migration from Central Asia to India occurred. The Mongols, the Mughals and other foreign invaders came from this region. Thirdly, in the Vedic literature, no reference to any word relating to sea has been found, and that is why it can be surmised that it is the land-route that was used by the Aryans in their movement for migration to India. They entered the Punjab, defeated the Dravidians, and began to settle in the country.

Arguments in support of foreign origin of Aryans

There are many reliable arguments in support of the view that the Aryans were outsiders and came to India from some foreign countries. These arguments are discussed below:

Archaeological evidence: As yet, we could not find sufficient archaeological evidence to firmly locate the original home of the Aryans. Two rock inscriptions such as Boghazkoi and Tel-el-Amarna were discovered in Asia Minor and in Egypt respectively. The date of the rock inscriptions at Boghazkoi belonged to 1400 B.C. The Hittite kings mentioned such Vedic gods as Indra, Mitra, and Varuna, etc. in this inscription. Ancient Syria was under the Pharaonic rule. Tel-el-Amarna inscription refers to the names of the Syrian kings which were similar to the Aryan names. That is why it is assumed that the Aryans came to India from foreign land. Prior to their coming to India they used to live here.

Lack of details about non-Aryans in Vedic Literature: Had the Aryans been the original settlers in India, the Vedic literature should have mentioned about the date and manner of the Dravidian infiltration into India. The Dravidian race didn’t find its place in the Vedic literature, indicating that the vedic aryans knew little about the Dravidians. Naturally, scholars are prone to believe that the Dravidians lived in India before the coming of the Aryans. However, no foolproof explanation has been given either about how the non-Aryan ethnic groups come to settle in north India.

Linguistic relationships between Sanskrit and European languages: The Harappan and Indus Valley civilization that flourished in India prior to the advent of Aryans was of urban nature. It was more advanced than the Vedic civilization. The ancient Aryan language has a close relationship with that of some of the east European countries. In Europe, Greek, Latin, German etc. are called Aryan languages. They are closely assembled with one another.

Close linguistic relation is not found among the languages of Aryans and its neighboring regions. The prevalence of no other languages other than the Sanskrit and the Persian is seen here.

1.2 Theory of Indian origin of Aryans

The theory of Indian origin of Aryans has received support from many historians.

Seven Indus (Sapta Sindhu): According to some historians, the basin regions of the seven Indus (Sapta Sindhu) constituted the original homeland of the Aryans. India, in prehistoric times, had overland contact with West Asia. The original cradle of the Aryans was, therefore, Sapta Sindhu which included the beautiful valley of Kashmir in the North and Gandhara in West.

Himalayan Footland: According to Pandit Lakshmidhar Sastri, the Himalayan foot-land was the original place of settlement of the Aryans. To support his argument, he pointed that there is similarity between the floras mentioned in the Vedic literature and those found at the Himalayan region.

Arguments in favor of Indian origin of Aryans

The geographical account of foreign land is not mentioned in the Vedic literature. The Parsee community in India remembers, still, its ancient land, its glory and tradition. There are some historians who maintain that the Aryans entered India from the northern frontier. But in the Vedic literature, there is no reference to it.

Some scholars have undoubtedly accepted the contents of the Puranas and believe that the Aryans are not foreigners and that they are the original inhabitants of India. According to them, the original homeland of the Aryans was the basin region of the river, Devaki, passing through Multan. The arguments in support of this theory are that the Aryans have described no other lands than Sapta Sindhu, as their homeland.

Another argument in defense of the theory that India is the original homeland of the Aryans is that, in the Vedic literature, there is reference to lion and elephant. There are references to numerous lions and elephants in the Punjab and tigers in Bengal. This establishes the view that the Punjab was the original home of the Aryans. In Vedic literature, there is no reference to rice, but wheat is referred to, and the chief agricultural product of the Punjab is wheat.

Sanskrit is the language of the Aryans. It has got a rich vocabulary. No other language is so rich as Sanskrit. So, the scholars say that traces of Aryan language found outside India mean that one of the branches of the Aryans emigrated from India for settlement in West Asia and other places. They were not the main branch of the Aryans.

Conclusion: It cannot be definitely said when the Aryans began to migrate over to different lands after having left their original homeland. Nor can it be asserted when they appeared first in India. We are aware of the long evolution of the Vedic civilization and its relations with Indian history of the later periods. Perhaps, the Vedic age began in a period which was about two thousand or two thousand five hundred years before the birth of Christ. Nothing more than this can be ascertained.

2. Spread, expansion and penetration of Aryans in India

The geographical references indicate that the Aryans spread gradually over to north India. The Aryan expansion proceeded from Sapta-Sindhu (seven rivers) to Brahmavarta (eastern region of the Punjab), and thence gradually penetrated to eastern India.

The Aryan power began to be established in Delhi, Meerut, Kosala, Kashi, North Bihar, etc.

The Aryan civilisation spread to Bengal towards the end of or immediately after the Vedic age. Dharmasutra is a part of Vedic literature. Its study creates the impression that Bengal was outside the Aryavarta.

Aryan expansion began in the south also. The Aryans undertook an expedition to the south in some un-ascertainable past. The existence of several Large kingdom of Sattwata in Vidarbha, the Dandaka Kingdom near Nasik, Mulaka and Ashmaka Kingdoms on the Godavari bank were clear demonstration of the expansion of Aryan power in the south by the end of the Vedic age.

It is not the fact that everywhere in north India and the Deccan the Aryan Kingdoms were established. There are references to the facts that some of the kingdoms were under Non-Aryans. Over and above this, in regions of dense forests, there lived such non-Aryan tribes as Pulindas, Nishadas, Savaras, Kalingas, and Andhras. etc.

In the south, unchallenged supremacy of the Aryans had never been established. Even in the north, co-existence and mutual influence of the Aryan and non-Aryan civilization are matters of deep observation. The Aryans and non-Aryans could not avoid contact with each other. It led to an unexpected synthesis of twin cultures.

The contributions of the both Aryans and non-Aryans to the establishment of Aryan power over the Gangetic valley are invaluable. Indeed, it can be said that what happened in India in the Vedic Age is not to be called the triumph of the Aryans only. It is proper to describe it as one of the Aryan movement and expansion.

Ancient Origins of the Aryan Race

The never-ending saga of human evolution is both provocative and profound, and nothing is more mysterious than the origin of the white European population of the world. Contrary to popular belief, its history and legacy date back to a remote and forgotten antiquity. We are a species with amnesia, not knowing where we came from, without the memory of past and glorious epoch of mankind which we are only know rediscovering.

We know from today’s statistics, those of white European descent comprise only 8% of the world’s population. We are one of the world’s tiniest minorities next only to the Jews, small primitive tribesmen and Australian aboriginies. Historically, however, this small percentage of the world’s population has been the main force of civilization, technology and advancement in both the ancient and modern world. We also have generally exerted the most power and influence than any other race or group of nations. Out of all the races of mankind none has been more problematic, more controversial, and more indebted to by the world for its gift of Western Civilization.

Ancient Caucasians gave birth to a lost global civilization to which we owe our culture and civilization of today. We can still see the monuments this lost civilization has left behind to us, and hear the stories of the great white gods who built them and the great Atlantean heroes who came to the world in its greatest hour of need. There is tremendous evidence that in incredibly distant times, in regions now known to be non-Caucasian, fair-skinned, blond or red-haired people were both the founders and champions of civilization. For centuries, there have been reports of ancient Caucasoid peoples thriving in remote corners of the world who later vanished mysteriously from history. These accounts speak of white, red-haired giants and yellow-haired barbarians in countries now almost exclusively populated by non-Caucasian peoples. In time, modern archaeologists found traces of their millennia-old corpses preserved in desert sands or frigid glaciers, even viable samples of their DNA would eventually be discovered.

In addition to such physical remains, a wealth of historical and mythological evidence, both in written form and oral tradition, spoke of lost civilizations consisting of fair-skinned gods and light-eyed benefactors who helped establish new cultures. According to numerous North American Indian accounts, at the dawn of their society, they were visited by a great White god arriving from a far-away land located across the sea, established their new mode of life, then departed, promising to some day return. Indeed to our ancestors, those who inhabited the western part of Eurasia, we were not made in the image of the god’s likeness but rather the gods were a mirror reflection of ours. In Aryan culture, these gods are exemplified by the Greek Olympians and the Teutonic Aesir, among others. The ancient Greek world was referred to by the Hellenes as “A Land of Gods and Monsters.” The Egyptians too believed in a time called Zep Tepi: “The First Time.” This was a distant, nearly forgotten time when the gods themselves—Osiris, Isis, Seth, Horus, Thoth, and others—are believed to have walked along side men. Also at this distant, Egypt and its civilization were created by our distant ancestors, a forgotten tribe of Ancient Caucasians finally revealed to us through King Tut’s very DNA and eventually many other discoveries both genetic and archaeological.

Archaeologists claim the first waves of modern humans into Europe came way of the Pakistani Gulf, therefore our ancestors, the white proto-Europeans originated in India, in the northern areas bordering the Kush and Himalayan mountains and the highlands of Afrghanistan. We still see remarkably European-like faces in those areas to this day. One of the most notable was featured on a famous cover of National Geographic, a young woman who years later was tracked down to her home with her husband a children, a face the photographer never forgot. Among the Afghans, Northern Indians, Iranians and Kurds there are many peoples who strike out from the crowd as being quite out of place among the other swarthy inhabitants. The peoples of the regions are much lighter-skinned than those of the south, but many defy separation from our European populations. This is a physical reality of the Aryan migration that one can’t easily dismiss as just random genetic variation.

In his book, Gobekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, Andrew Collins made a reasonable effort to theorize and explain the ancient legend of the Watchers as described in the Book of Enoch and the Nephilim from the Book of Genesis. Collins goes on to explain the Book of Enoch which, of course, is a non-canonical text not included in the Bible:

. . .it recounts how Enoch, while resting in his bed one night, is approached by two strange beings of angelic appearance. Named Watchers, they ask him to accompany them on a tour of the Seven Heavens, one which includes the Garden of Righteousness, where the four rivers of Paradise take their rise, while another leads to the abode of the angels. When in the Watchers’ heavenly settlement, Enoch is shown a prison in which a whole group of these angelic beings are incarcerated. On asking what crime they have committed, the patriarch is informed that two hundred of their number disobeyed the laws of heaven by descending among mortal kind and taking wives for themselves.”

After reading the book of Enoch, I became convinced that these Watchers, or “fallen ones,” like the Anunnaki of Sumero-Akkadian tradition, were very powerful human individuals who lived during some distant age of humankind. They were advanced enough to give us the rudiments of civilization, recalled in the manner in which the fallen angels revealed to mortal kind the forbidden arts and sciences of heaven. What is more, their sexual liaisons with the “daughters of men” expressed their quite obvious human nature, as well as their abilitiy to cocreate in order to produce flesh and blood offspring that resembled both themselves and their mortal wives.” In the Book of Enoch, they are described as tall, with flowing white or blonde hair, ruddy complexions, and mesmerizing eyes which shone as brightly as the sun. One might compare this description with my later depiction of the Chinese Sun Gods that supposedly built the Great White Pyramids of ancient China, the very structures that are in plain site but that the Chinese government refuses exists.

When in the Bible it stated the Sons of God came unto the Daughters of men, the correct translation for men is the enoesh, not Adam. So these women, those who gave birth to the mortal women were not of the pure Caucasian race. In Enochian literature, as part of their punishment, the Watchers were to slaughter the newly born infants as they were an abomination to God. The Watchers might also be connected to the Near Eastern concept of the djinn, who were giants that failed to bow down before the Adamu so were exterminated by the gods, perhaps another example of the fallen angels.

The discovery of light-skinned mummies in New Guinea and New Zealand, and the persistent references to god-like, light-skinned peoples inhabiting a now-sunken landmass in the Pacific Ocean, raises some interesting possibilities of a primordial race. But, the presence of lost Caucasian peoples in the Americas is only the capstone to a much broader reality.

Today, there exists an overwhelming body of evidence suggesting a now-lost population of Caucasians. The last decades of the 20th Century saw a revolution in our understanding of the depth and magnitude of prehistoric Caucasian migration and influence. In 1959 for example, hard physical evidence of primitive, proto-Caucasoid peoples inhabiting the Americas during prehistory began to surface.

Archaeologists digging at Santa Rosa Island off the California coast, unearthed a number of skeletal remains dating back to 10,000 B.C. with apparent Caucasian features. During the 16th Century, as the Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo skimmed the same coastline, he found that native Chumash Indians possessed physical attributes that set them apart from the rest of the Channel Island Indians. He reported that the women had “fine forms, beautiful eyes, and a modest demeanor. Their children were “white, with light hair and ruddy cheeks.” These remains are ancient, and have implications far beyond their apparent novelty and uniqueness. They are the physical remnants of a forgotten race. They are a lost series of human tribes whose descendants now only make up 8% of the world population, but continue to influence culture, technology, scientific and educational achievement.

This race has far surpassed any other group of people in terms of the arts and in communication. But these ancient peoples are far different than anything present today. Their lineage goes back to a distant, forgotten epoch of humankind. Far back into antiquity, a lost race of men produced an advanced culture at a time conventional scientists say no humans could have done so. They are a testament to their gods and way of life that is not, nor can be, equaled in the past or the present. This is a lost race of cultural and technological giants whose previous civilization has been lost forever. Their influence, however, has brought about the inception of human intelligence as we know it, and given birth to the very first ancient civilization – indeed all of human culture.

The 1990s saw the discovery of the most controversial archaeological find in North American history, Kennewick Man, a 9,000-year-old skeleton with clearly Caucasoid – not Mongoloid – physical traits. Forensic reconstructions of the recovered skull show a face akin to Patrick Stewart, the actor who portrayed Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Additional discoveries throughout the Americas hinted at a primordial Caucasoid population that roamed freely across much of the Western hemisphere.

Today, there is proof that ancient cultures around the world were visited by Caucasian races in ancient times, and they were depicted by contemporary historians and record-keepers as white gods. In the Vedic texts of India, the gods are actually depicted as having blond hair.
There are also legends of the Nestorian Christians of China and Central Asia who may be the basis of the Eastern Christian kingdom as led by the mythical Prester John. This author connects them with the Tarim mummies. Even Kublai Kahn was said to have red hair and green eyes. Since there are those who believed the Chinese made it first to the New World in the early 15th century, they then could have brought with them the idea of a returning savior as the Mormons believe.

In Aryan Sun Myths: The Origin of Religion (1899), author Charles Morris touched upon the preponderance of the messianic ideal and its origins in Indo-European myth and lore. He also linked the original Hebrews and the Semites to the Aryans as the controversial Madame Blavatsky did. These travelers from Asia-to-America could also have brought with them their Caucasian DNA. Indeed, most historians agree that there were numerous reports of Caucasian “Indians” in the Americas filed by European explorers during the early years of White colonization. It is possible that our legends of both giants and fair-skinned deities can be linked to those times.

Spanish speaking writers from the 16th century reported that the native Inca people of western South America revered Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadors as powerful gods and referred to them as the “Viracochas,” because their god, Viracocha – similar to that of the Polynesians, Mayans and Aztecs – was light-skinned. Indeed, the ancient city of Tiahuanaco was posited with being built by a fallen race of White giants or gods. Further, this idea was espoused by author Rupert Furneaux.

In his 1940 book, The Shadow of Atlantis, Colonel Alexander Pavlovitch Braghine claimed that the Carib peoples recounted legends of a white bearded man who they called Tamu or Zune. He had come from the East, and taught the people the rudiments of agriculture. This figure then disappeared to the rising Sun to the West toward Western Europe. Braghine also forwarded the notion that Manco Copac was also a white, bearded man. The Atlantis author, Gerd von Hassler, associated the lost White race with the Biblical flood, and gave that as the reason for their eventual demise. In March 2010, the archaeological community was stunned by the discovery of yet another Caucasian skeleton, this time in Mongolia. DNA extracted from this individual’s bones confirmed a direct genetic link to the West. In essence, these remains were clearly European, if not Western Eurasian. This time, however, the ancient corpse was not as old, only dating to the first century A.D. The period of prehistoric Western arrival, or habitation in China and East Asia, is continually being pushed backward in time to an even earlier date.

The origins of some Caucasian mummies trace back to some 6,000 years ago some are even older. But, the Mongolian individual was apparently held in high regard by his peers, as a major player in the Xiongnu empire, a multi-ethnic melting pot of former Eurasian nomads who challenged the supremacy of the Han Dynasty. This ancient conglomeration of foreign tongues and non-Mongoloid races no doubt consisted of many Indo-European peoples.

During 2007, Peruvian investigators found literally dozens of Caucasian mummies in a vaulted tomb buried 82 feet beneath the forest floor of the Amazon jungle. These belonged to a pre-Inca race known as the Chacha poyas, or “Cloud People.” Their discovery complimented 16th century Spanish reports of “strange, white Indians” with beards in the same region.

Even the giant statues of Easter Island (2,180 miles off the Chilean coast) bear witness to the arrival and passage of an ancient Caucasoid race.
Previously, in 1915, British archaeologist Katherine Routledge learned from a native islander the true nature of the ethnically different looking “Long Ears,” or “men who came from far away in ships. They saw they had pink cheeks, and they said they were gods.” The last real ariki, or chief, was said to be quite white, Routledge reports:

‘White like me’? I innocently asked. ‘You!’ they said. ‘You are red, the color in European cheeks.’ Red is the term generally applied by Easter Islanders to Europeans. And urukekuis often translated ‘red-haired’.” Indeed, the towering statues obviously displayed something other than Polynesian physiognomy, “and if the fine, oval faces, the large eyes, the short upper lip and the thin, often Apollo’s bow lips are any guide to race, they indicate a Caucasoid race.” Obviously, anthropologists are baffled by the apparent presence of Caucasoid peoples in the prehistoric Pacific.

Genetic testing conducted during the 1990s showed traces of Basque DNA in the people of Rapa Nui and Greater Polynesia. These ages-old, oral traditions are not only being underscored by the latest strides being made in genetic research, but combine to show that the prehistory of America is far richer in its human background than previously suspected. The argument for an ancient Caucasian presence in remote parts of the world which should have no such influence or affiliation in very ancient times is compelling. Even West African tribes have legends of ghost-like creatures sharing dominion over their lands and giving them the power to think, to hunt and to organize their societies.

There is widespread evidence of an Aryan presence in ancient Egypt. As author Mary Sutherland has pointed out, the mummy of the wife of King Tutankhamun had auburn hair. In addition, an ancient mummy with red hair, red mustache and beard was found buried within the pyramids at Saqqara. Moreover, the crocodile-caverns of Aboutfaida possessed a number of red-haired mummies. The book, History of the Egyptian Mummies mentions a primordial corpse with reddish-brown hair.

The mummy of Thutmose II has light chestnut-colored hair. And, evidence of a Gaulish and Saxon presence has also been revealed by Professor Vacher de Lapouge. According to de Lapouge, a blond mummy was found at Al Amrah, the displayed skull measurements indicative of the White race. Blond mummies have been found at Silsileh as well. During Pre-Dynastic and Old Kingdom times, Egypt was primarily a Caucasian society. The DNA of tested mummies reveals that even today’s own chiefly Semitic and Negroid populations ironically bear traces of that lost European bloodline.

In The Children of Ra, author Arthur Kemp noted a DNA study conducted by G. Lucotte (published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology in April 2003) proved Egypt’s mixed racial heritage. But, continued research has proven that, during past epochs, Egypt had three primary waves of Europoid inhabitants. During pre-Dynastic times came members of a pre-Aryan or old European population from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. Nordic invaders during the Old Kingdom also arrived. And continued waves of Indo-European tribes throughout the Middle and Early New Kingdoms also made it to Egypt. Interestingly, King Tut’s racial profile is decidedly Western European in origin, and the further you trace back through Egyptian origins, the more homogeneous and advanced the Caucasian population.

The Northern Indians contain a significant proportion of R1a DNA, the Aryan racial genetic signature. The Aryan invaders established the caste system, or Varna, which in Sanskrit means “color.” The Bahadgavita and the Vedas describe the gods of the Hindus as having fair skin and blue eyes. Ancient Hindu texts describe both the different and impending racial conflict of the ancients in their scriptures. In them, the leader of the the Aryans was Indra, and is described as “slaying the Dasyus,” the Negroids of India. “Thou, Indra, art the destroyer of all the cities, the slayer of the Dasyus, the properer of man, the lord of the sky.”

The Rig Veda continues to describe the Dasyu and uses the term “black” in the course of the reference: “Indra, the slayer of Vrittra, the destroyer of cities, has scattered the Dasyu sprang from a black womb.” The Rig Veda describes in detail the light-skinned nature of the Aryan worshipers who have “frays that win the light of heaven.”

In Afghanistan, we have many cases of blond hair and blue and green eyes among the population. During the post-September 11 battles, it is known that when mixed races hit the battlefield, the Afghan fighters were relentless, but, once Aryans hit the battlefield, those same Afghans were nowhere to be found. Some of the population of this region has remained untouched for 8,000 years and is the strongest receptacle of R1a DNA.

When Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840) first used the term “Caucasian” in 1795 to describe the white population of Europe, he could scarcely imagine the epic story about to unfold. A German physician, natural historian, Blumenbach’s teachings in comparative anatomy were applied to the classification of human races. He adopted the term, “Caucasian,” from native inhabitants of the Caucasus Mountains in southeastern Europe, a race he believed to be the most beautiful and vigorous on Earth. His arguments are no longer fashionable, but there was much more to the story of ancient Caucasians than Blumenbach or anyone else of his time could have imagined.

Our ancestors, those of us who are of white European descent, have been watching the stars and charting the movement of the heavens for tens of thousands of years. Both linguists and cultural anthropologists have proven our ancient link to the Vedic culture of India and the neigbhoring Old Persian civilization. The Sanskrit texts of ancient India are based on a timeline that pre-dates any modern conception of proto-history. It places the origin of Aryan civilization millions of years hence. The Sanskrit writings of India deal with the culture, beliefs and history of the Indo-Aryan peoples. Many scholars believe that the Aryans invaded India and established the foundations of Hindu culture. I believe that the Vedic texts are quite clear on the subject. The ancient Aryans are a culture the dates back to the darkest age of antiquity. In Europe, however, genetic tests as well as the findings of physical anthropology prove the anatomically modern Europeans, with the same phenotype and similar cultural traits, those which do show similarities to the ancient Indians and Iranians, can be traced back between 45,000 – 30,000 B.C.E.

In a December 2005 article, the editors of National Vanguard Magazine reported:

The earliest biological evidence of Europeans was revealed recently in May 2005, when bones found in the Czech Republic were confirmed as representing the earliest settlement of modern humans in Europe. The bones, found at Mladec, were dated by subjecting ancient teeth to Carbon 14 dating, and were found to be approximately 31,000 years old. This finding ties in with dates from other sites in Europe that have yielded artifacts characteristic of the Aurignacian culture, dating from between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago. A jaw bone recovered from a site in Romania is actually older than the Mladec find, but the Czech Republic bones represented half a dozen humans, the first real group presence on European soil” (National Vanguard, December 2005.)

On Sept. 19, 1991, in the Otztal Alps near the Austrian-Italian border, an incredible archeological find was discovered by a German couple hiking in the mountains on vacation. This miraculous discovery was a Stone Age, European “wet mummy,” naturally preserved in an ancient sheet of ice. This corpse is of great significance in the study of Caucasian origins and was described in The Iceman, a book by the German scientist Konrad Spindler. The “Iceman” (or “Otzi”) as he has been called ever since, lived and hunted in the region centuries before the first block on the Egyptian pyramids was placed. The Iceman also carried with him a flint blade, a cape made from grass, and other sophisticated implements. He also bore 61 tattoos.

In the 1998 NOVA episode which appeared on the Public Broadcasting channel (PBS), “Ice Mummies: The Iceman Returns,” the main issues regarding the ancient corpse were brought to the forefront.

The first question scientists had to tackle was the Iceman’s age. Could he really be [5,300] years old? To find out, small samples of bone were removed for radiocarbon dating. Like all living things, bone contains a form of carbon called carbon-14. When an organism dies, that carbon begins to decay at a precise rate like a clock ticking away into eternity.”

Along with the cadaver itself, a variety of tools and implements were also uncovered, including shreds of tattered clothing, a copper axe, half-finished arrowheads, and various containers made from birch. The other objects were “rawhide strings, two dried mushrooms on leather straps . . . finely stitched clothing made from animal skins . . . an unfinished bow taller than the Iceman himself, and remnants of a boot stuffed with grass still tied to one foot.” (NOVA, 1998: “The Iceman Returns”)

The elegantly fashioned copper axe was perhaps his most notable possession. It dated prior to the Copper Age, and scientists believe it was primarily used for a ceremonial or symbolic purpose, perhaps to denote the Iceman’s status as a warrior, especially if he was a proto-Aryan, since Indo-Europeans are primarily a warrior race and most of their root words relate to hunting and battle, as does their religious imagery. Until the late 1970s, it was presupposed that local development in Europe was a product of diffusion—that is, a gradual assimilation of foreign concepts and technologies through contact with eastern Mediterranean and Near East cultures during long migration periods.

For instance, early Bronze Age burial sites in Wessex, England, were once thought to be products of the Mycenaean civilization. While current evidence suggests ancient Caucasians migrated to and influenced the rise of ancient American and Chinese civilizations, this theory of Caucasian development is entirely incorrect. The white Europeans and their ancestors in Asia truly had a creative spark very early on that changed the fate of the world. More up-to-date methods of determining age revolutionized our awareness of this phase of European prehistory.

Recently scientists in Balzano, Italy, conducted a DNA test on the Iceman. The test showed that his paternal bloodline is now shared by almost all modern Europeans and is related to some peoples in northwestern Europe. Studies of his mitochondrial DNA, however, which can be traced only through the maternal bloodline, prove that he was part of an Alpine race originating in the mountains some 13,000 years ago that now is totally extinct. He was actually a mix of Nordic blood and this distinct and now-forgotten pre-Aryan race. This race was previously unknown to anthropologists. However, aspects of his paternal DNA also resemble those of the people now found on Sardinia.

But did he come from Sardinia? No, scientists say. The people of Sardinia have been isolated from other European population groups for so long, their ancient DNA has remained less diluted by the later waves of whites who invaded mainland Europe many centuries ago. Hence the people of Sardinia today most closely resemble the majority of Europeans of the Iceman’s era, or so the theory goes.

The Iceman’s World was already ancient when Stonehenge and the Pyramids were built. Otzi’s long lost civilization is shrouded in the mists of time, and archaeology has effectively revealed its secrets:

In June 2005, archaeologists discovered Europe’s oldest formalized civilization, a network of dozens of temples, 2,000 years older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids. More than 150 gigantic monuments were found underneath fields and cities in Germany, Austria, and Slovakia, built more than 7,000 years ago, between 4800 B.C. and 4600 B.C. More than 150 settlements have been identified so far, and more are expected to be uncovered in due course. Constructed of earth and wood, they had ramparts and palisades that stretched for up to half a mile. It should, therefore, be unsurprising to learn that a large part of what is traditionally accepted as European culture, and Christian European culture, is in fact part of a far older and long-established cultural heritage going back many thousands of years. Christianity has only been a dominant religion on the mainland of Europe for less than 1,600 years – and in some parts of Northern and Eastern Europe for less than 900 years – and so it is of particular interest to see that many rituals and customs are, incorrectly, so often presumed to be Christian in origin (National Vanguard 2008).

Between circa 7000 and 3500 BC, the inhabitants of this region developed a much more complex social organization than their western and northern neighbors, following settlements which often amounted to small townships, inevitably craft specialization and the creation of religious institutions. (Gimbutas 1-10)A recently discovered prehistoric temple is challenging the accepted paradigm of human civilization. Göbekli Tepe (“the hill of the naval” in Turkish) dates to around 12,000–10,000 BCE, or the time of the destruction of Atlantis. The site includes massive carved stones, including two T-shaped pillars. Surrounding these main megaliths, which tower some 5 meters high are a number of smaller stones facing inward. On the stones’ broadsides are elaborately carved motifs of foxes, lions, scorpions, and vultures (Curry 2008).

Coppens mentions the discovery of “the biblical town of Jericho and its stone walls,” which were dated to 8000 BCE. Like Göbekli Tepe, the discovery of Jericho pushed back the emergence of the first cities to a much earlier date. Jericho’s discovery marked the first blow against the accepted world paradigm.

Both Andrew Collins and Laird Scranton have done extremely significant work on the subject of ancient Caucasians in myth and reality. They both link the 12,000 – 25,000 year old structure in Turkey, Gobekli Tepe, to the origin of ancient civilization. This author would also theorize that Gobekli Tepe antedated the birth of Atlantis, which he explains is an ancient Indo-European civilization that was flooded then sunk beneath the Black Sea when flooded 7,600 years ago. Other cultures, including the Semites and the Indo-Iranians, originated here, explaining the similarities between Biblical and Hebrew writings and that of Aryan texts.

Scranton, however, misses the connection between ancient Caucasians, a race that were the inhabitants in the region at the time, and spends too much time enthusing over the Dogon tribe. Giorgio Tsoukolaus and others from the Ancient Aliens crowd believe that the Dogon gods, or sky-people, were extraterrestrials. Seeing ancient Caucasians whom I believe had at one time more significantly advanced technology, such as Vimanas, and many other weapon and flight technology currently unknown to us.

This author was educated as a strict evolutionist, and I believe there has been ample time on this planet for our people to evolve. I have read Hamlet’s Mill and also studied the collapse of the Roman Empire and how Europeans descended into a dark, primitive age where people couldn’t even identify the crumbled ruins of the Empire as being built by human hands. I think quite possibly that Ancient Caucasians are the lost global civilization that Graham Hancock and others have been searching for, and the basis in the belief in giants and sky-gods. I think after the race of intellectual giants was destroyed, as I described in my book Lost Race of the Giants, that we had what Graham Hancock had called racial amnesia, but the ancient aliens crowd is going the wrong way in their deductions. I have no doubt that our species has encountered extraterrestrials in the distant past, and maybe they even seeded life here at one time, but I reject the notion that they are the sole creators of ancient civiliziation or have their hands on our history and future destiny. Those are the conveyance of mortals, and I believe the ancient Caucasians were taller, much taller than the average human at that time, smarter and more physically adept, and had great technological and engineering genius. As racist as this might sound, I think history demands this deduction.

The Black Sea phenomenon, as this author calls it, is not the only probable origin for the Proto-Indo-Europeans or for the location of their homeland. The fact that India has remained one of the oldest, most continuously inhabited Aryan civilization, and at one time the most advanced. In the Sanskrit writing of India, an epic prehistory is presented for the Aryan race. The racial strength India once possessed has passed. Moreover, their civlization, at least the civilization of the Ancient Aryans has long past. But like China, another civilization that once was Aryan, still maintains itself as a place of integrity and success as an independent nation.

In his Forbidden Archaeology and Human Devolution, the brilliant scholar Michael Cremo made the argument for a greater antiquity for the human race. I submit the notion that these Vedic texts were talking specifically about the origin of the Indo-Europeans who may have originated in the ancient mountains north of India, and might even be the origin of the Old European idea of the gods residing in the mountains like Mount of Olympus, or the very usage of the name sky-people. The Ancient Aryans and their god Indra might have descended like eagles from their seclusion of their Himalayan and Kush mountain nests like vultures indeed. The ancient Aryans, or great white gods, may have also been linked to the stars throughout through astrological religion. For that reason alone, the ancestors of today’s Indians, Iranians, Afghans, Kurds and Europeans, and their descendants may have seen like sky people. Among Western, Southern and Central Asian peoples there are many very Nordic looking remnants of this long time past population. This is slowly on the decline everywhere, however, especially in Europe with the native population’s birth rate below the replacement level and now battle-scarred with millions of Africans and Muslim Arabic peoples swarming in as Barbara Spectre said there is definitely going to be a transformation. This author respects and admires his own culture and civilization, and does not welcome this transformation by any means.

Back to Gobekli Tepe, I think Scratton understimates or at least is unaware of the research done regarding the European or Indo-European peoples which include the primordial Vedic people. Racial author Arthur Kemp in March of the Titans: The Complete History of the White Race, made the observation that light-skin, eye, and hair color may be just a genetic mutation not related to environment alone. This could place the origin of the Caucasian race in ancient India, in the cold regions of the Himalayan mountains or somewhere further south. Indeed, the long held idea of placing the Aryans in Central Asia or Europe may be wrong.

With regards to key ancient civilizations of the past, Scranton mentions the Dogon of Mali. This seems odd to me because despite their very advanced mythology related to astronomy, which ancient Alien theorists are very big on, the Dogon are neither significant nor unique. But he did mention that the Dogon as well as others feel that they had an advanced mentor race guiding them during their prehistory.

We have discussed [in his books] a number of cultures who creation traditions appear to be fundamentally similar to one another. These include the cultures of the modern-day Dogon tribe of Mali, the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Buddhists, the Tibetan Na-Khi tribes, and the ancient Chinese. In each of these cultures there is an abiding belief that civilizing skills relating to agriculture, weaving, pottery, metallurgy, stone masonry, the domestication of animals, and written language—among others-were intentionally given to humanity in some remote era by knowledgeable, quasi-mythical ancestor-teachers or ancestor-deities.”

This may make sense, since both Asians and many other peoples have some DNA in common with ancient white Europeans, similarities which are not there simply by our common human heritage. This suggests that some type of mixing or miscegenation has taken place in the distant past between white European and non-European peoples. This would also suggest ancient Caucasians that had a wide-spread presence in ancient times and the power and technology to maintain that presence through advanced transportation means.

In the January/February edition of The Barnes Review history magazine, the mythological and archeological evidence of white influence upon the rise of global civilization was analyzed in an article entitled “Ancient Caucasians: The Legacy of the Fallen Race.” This article took a look at the huge number of global civilizations that credit “white gods” with bringing their peoples the basics of civilization, including religion, astronomy, medicine, farming, advanced building techniques and more. Among the people often believed to have evolved independently from the Western World were the Chinese. In the early 1990s, however, the solidity of the theory of isolated Asian origins was forever challenged.

Already, in 1974, the vast tomb of China’s first emperor had been unearthed, featuring an entire army of terracotta soldiers individually cast and ornamented as if poised to follow the emperor into the afterlife. While the terracotta soldiers merely affirmed Chinese assumptions about their own origins, another discovery dating back to the first years of the 20th century, and eventually rediscovered nearly 100 years later, would prove damaging to the Chinese world view. In 1988, in a back room of an old museum, Professor Victor H. Mair of Pennsylvania University stumbled upon one of the greatest Chinese archeological discoveries of all time: Caucasian mummies.

Scattered across the desert sands of the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang were mummies so different from the standard East Asian population that they indicated a history spurred on by visitors from the West. Indeed, an ancient legend regarding the birth of the world said that a giant being, Pan’Ku, who was described as having long blond hair which covered most of his body, created the world and its people from his own body and hair. This legend mirrors ancient European myths such as that of both Germanic and Keltic tribes.

The fact that it was ancient Aryans who brought the Chinese the wheel, the domesticated horse, even iron weapons, has been preserved in their mythology as a racial memory of past events. According to Chinese myth, some of their most ancient pyramids, including those near Mongolia and the Tarim Basin where the Caucasian mummies were found, were built by the Sun gods. These Chinese Sun gods were depicted as being tall, blond and blue-eyed, with a light, ruddy complexion. In Hindu myth the Aryans are described as the shining ones given their birthright from the power of the Sun.

Also, in Tibetan myth, Agni, the god of fire and creation, used the symbol of the Sun, a swastika, as the tool of creation, known as the fire-whisk. The swastika is the eternal symbol of the Aryans, of the Sun and creation and is also the symbol of the Chinese Sun gods.
Kublai Khan was said to have red hair, green eyes and freckles, his father having taken a white woman as one of his mates. The Communist Chinese have long denied the existence of their pyramids due to the legends that claim they were built by white men, not their Chinese ancestors.

There is a huge submerged pyramid in the China Sea known as the Yonaguni monument. This stepped pyramid, made famous by the popular author Graham Hancock and the maverick geologist Robert Schoch, is structured like those of Assyria, which was originally an Aryan nation in all probability.

The Chinese mummies present a unique problem to those who assume that East Asians are more inventive that whites or that China was always a Mongoloid country. It was not. Over the past 2,500 years a major biological transformation occurred in the Chinese population. Prior to this great change, an even more dramatic alteration occurred. So, the Chinese of today would contrast drastically with those of 9,000 years ago. As the Mongoloids increased in numbers, their migrations displaced the native white Chinese population, pushing them across the continent into Russia and Europe. Chinese authorities and the liberal and Marxist establishment in Europe and the United States continue to deny these facts.

Andrew Collins has come up with a brilliant idea of identifying the Watchers of the Bible and Book of Enoch, with tall Nordic-like shamans who helped usher in the Neolithic age and may have been those who created Gobekli Tepe. In Gobekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, Collins writes:

In Enochian literature they are described only as tall in stature, with long, white hair, pale skin, ruddy complexions, and mesmeric eyes that quite literally shine like the sun.”

Collins cites a fragmentary text known as the Testament of Amram which says the Watchers were “long-headed, with a narrow visage, calling it viper like.” Here we see identical descriptions from two distinct cultures, the cultures of the Near East and that of Ancient China. The Watchers were also said to have been holders of sacred knowledge and revealed them to both Enoch and the daughters of men whom they have intimate contact with and produced offspring, the Nephilim, who were later slaughtered by the Watchers as punishment for disobeying the laws of God and Nature.

By the beginning of the fifth millennium BC, many of these small tribes entered a period of rapid expansion and erected stupendous monuments of stone called megaliths. They were built with a technology still unknown to modern science. In the Danubian and Baltic regions, early Neolithic development was accelerated to an unimaginable rate. In the so-called Starcevo (near Belgrade in present-day Serbia) and Danubian cultures, great levels of innovation were reached. The Sesklo culture (in Thessaly, ancient Greece), located in the Southern Balkans, was the first people in Europe to build actual cities, constructed in a kind of “proto-urban” design. This was accomplished some seven thousand years ago, even before the nations of Mesopotamia rose from the choking dust of the Earth. Fortified villages that strongly resembled some of the municipal centers of the early city-states, also in Thessaly, characterized the Dimini culture. (Encarta 98)

Excavations in the Balkans have shown that 6,000 years ago, the copper-axe, the same exact tool found beside the Iceman, had been in use for decades during the Vinca culture (circa 4500–3000 BC). During this new age, trade, especially in amber from the Baltic, was becoming a vital part of these growing societies. In central Europe (Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic), copper and tin deposits were utilized as the Bronze Age arose during the third millennium BC. As nobility, and eventually royalty, became a fact of human society, immense tombs were being built to house the bodies and the souls of the fallen leaders. (Encarta 98)

Our understanding of European origins has increased exponentially over the past few decades. It seems that light-skin and blond hair became predominate among Europeans as early as the Bronze Age between 1,000 – 3,000 BCE. Prior to this period, it is now evident that blue-eyes, a mutation unique among Europeans was widespread as far back as 8,000 – 7,500 years ago among the native European, or Pre-Aryan, hunter-gatherers who had swarthy skin akin to that seen in Central India or the Middle East. Past experts agreed that Europeans descended from two distinct ancestral bloodlines. The blue-eyed, swarthy skinned hunter-gatherers and the early European farmers who arrived around 7500 years in what is present-day Germany. These early farmers were not Indo-European speaking populations and they were most notably related to Basques of the Iberian peninsula. A new study, however, indicates a third bloodline! Researchers of Harvard Medical School and the University of Tubingen in Germany have now documented a genetic contribution from a third ancestor: Ancient North Eurasians. This group appears to have contributed to present-day Caucasians as well. This same bloodline is the common ancestor to both Northern Europeans and Native Americans. In fact, most Native Americans share more in common with the most ancient peoples of Europe than those of Siberia or Africa. “The same Ancient North Eurasian group contributed to both of them.” It is even true that those Europeans who descended from Near Eastern newcomers around 6,000 years ago share connections to an even older bloodline called the Basal Eurasians.

The study of how the first Europeans evolved into today’s white population was initiated by Johannnes Krause, professor of archaeo- and paleogenetics at the University of Tubingen and the co director of the new Max Planck Institute for History and Sciences in Jena, Germany. To do so he collected DNA from thousands of individuals worldwide and nine ancient humans from Sweden, Luxembourg and Germany. These included eight hunter-gatherers from 8,000 years before the arrival of farming and one from 7,000 years ago. They also included DNA from the famous Iceman, called Otzi.

Ancient North Eurasian DNA was not present in the hunter-gatherers of 8,000 years ago nor the early farmers of 7,000 years ago. This suggests this new bloodline was more recently introduced. “Nearly all Europeans have ancestry from all three ancestral groups,” said Losi Lazaridis, a research fellow in genetics in Reich’s lab and first author of the paper.

Differences between them are due to relatives proportions of ancestry. Northern Europeans have more hunter-gatherer ancestry – up to about 50 percent in Lithuanians – and Southern Europeans have more farmer ancestry.”

“The Ancient North Asian ancestry,” Lazaridis added, “is proportionally the smallest component everywhere in Europe, never more than 20 percent, but we find it in nearly every European group we’ve studied and also in populations from the Caucuses and the Near East. A profound transformation must have taken place in West Eurasia” after farming arrived.”

At first North Eurasian DNA was a distinct but unknown marker. No known DNA matches could be made. It was entirely unique to researchers. Then in January 2015 a North Eurasian remain was found in Siberia. This enabled researchers to determine the closest relatives, including Northern Europeans and North American Native Americans. The group known as the Basal Eurasians branched off from all remnants of African DNA before even the Australian aboriginies did, making this ancestor of Europeans one of the oldest on Earth.

In the course of this article we have examined the discovery of the Iceman, as well as suggestions that both white Europeans and the civilizations of Iran and India go back to a far more distant age than previously thought. We have also suggested that the population of Europe, at least the Indo-Europeans, had their start outside Europe or Central Asia, and may even have originated in the mountain strattling India in the north or even further south. But what of the Iceman? With the information gleaned from this research, we know what happened. Five thousand years ago, a lone mountaineer hiked through the rugged Alpine wilderness. His true destination and identity are forever lost to the sands of time. As far as we know, he made it to a nearby glen. Exhausted, he stopped and rested next to a large rock. What happened next would change the world forever: he obviously was overtaken by the elements and perished.

Five hundred centuries later, he would rise from his icy grave to stun and beguile the world of men. In 1998, the Austrian government turned the body of the Iceman over to Italy, his true place of origin. He was taken to the Italian town of Bolzano, in the location of his original settlement thousands of years before. Flanked by a military escort, he was taken to a ten-million-dollar museum built in his honor. He had come full circle. It may have taken Otzi the Iceman several millennia, but his spirit could rightly shine down upon his lifeless body and smile saying, “Welcome Home.”

Otzi, an unwilling time-traveler, raises many questions. Dan Rather, the American newsman, called him “the most celebrated cadaver since King Tut.” (NOVA, 1998: “The Iceman Returns”) This find and all other discoveries like it are essential in the study of Northern European origins, and indeed the entire Caucasian subspecies. What is awesome about this particular archeological unearthing is that it rivals in comparison to some of the great finds of Egypt, the Middle East and the Americas, but it was in the heart of Europe where the Nordic race first appeared.

Persia, A Branch of Aryan Where Mentioned in the Bible

Persia is listed on the Biblical Timeline around 1454 BC and at a later point ruled by King Cyrus, as mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah. The king ruled the land with much wisdom, and he served the people as a great king should. In Ezra 1:1-3, it was stated that Cyrus ordered god’s people to build a temple for the Lord. Indeed, he was among the greatest rulers in the history of Persia. It is also worth noting that of all the other empires that reigned over the Israelites, it was the Persians who allowed the return of the citizens of Judah‘s southern kingdom to their native land. This occurred 70 years after they lived in exile under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar.

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The Glory of Persia

During the pinnacle of Persia, the empire extended to Greece, India, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Caspian Sea. The people of Persia also came originally from Media, and they decided to settle in Persia, specifically on the eastern portion of the Persian Gulf.

The Persians were noted to be Aryans there were two lines that came forth from Teispes, who was the early leader of Persia. Teispes gained control of Elam during the downfall of the Assyrian Empire, and he had lines in Persia and Anzan. The king of Anzan at that time was Cyrus II, and he united the people after conquering Babylonia, Lydia and Media. On the other hand, Cambyses, the son of Cyrus II, controlled Egypt. During that period, Egypt was under the rule of Darius, who was the son of Hyptaspes. Darius and his several successors considered Persepolis as the ceremonial capital, which is one of Persia’s ancient cities.

Based on a Biblical perspective, the people of Persia helped shape Bible history. For instance, these people were a part of the chain of several empires that became a part of history such as the Egyptians during the period of Exodus. The Assyrians who defeated the Lost Ten Tribes, the Babylonians who gained control of Judah’s southern kingdom, and the Persians who allowed the return of Israelites to Jerusalem.

During the 5th century BC, Darius I formed the Aryan race upon declaring himself as a Persian. In fact, Herodotus mentioned that the Iranian race was often noted in history as Aryans. Based on history, the Aryans migrated from Iran and traveled to other parts of the world due to climatic events such as the end of the Ice Age period. Once rainfall decreased, and the lake eventually dried up, the inhabitants who had an Aryan culture and language decided to settle in Iran.

Furthermore, the term Iran was derived from the word Aryan, which pertained to the land of Aryans. Thus was the story of the migration of the Aryans, and the possibility that these people originally came from a remote land. Upon arriving in Iran, they gave it a name and considered to make it as their new homeland. However, in historical accounts, Central Asia has often been labelled as the land of the Touran, Khwarazm, Turkistan, Sakas and Khiveh. None of these words, though, were linked to the word Aryan.

The Kurgan Hypothesis

The Kurgan Hypothesis is the most widely accepted scenario of Indo-European origins. It postulates that people of a so-called Kurgan Culture, a grouping of the Yamna or Pit Grave culture and its predecessors, of the Pontic Steppe were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language. According to this theory, these nomadic pastoralists expanded throughout the Pontic-Caspian steppe and into Eastern Europe by early 3000 BCE. The Kurgan people may have been mobile because of their domestication of horses and later use of the chariot.

Timeline: 1000 to 501 BCE

1000 Shang rule is overthrown by rugged nomadic warriors. A new dynasty of Zhou kings rule. They claim that in heaven their gods have ousted the rule of the Zhang gods. A shortage of rainfall sends Aryan tribes from the Indus Valley to the plains of the Ganges Valley. Aryan tribal kings have been changing from elected leaders to autocratic rulers, allying themselves with the priesthood and associating themselves and their power with their gods. People in western Africa are clearing portions of tropical forest with stone axes. They plant yams, harvest fruits and palm nuts and keep goats. In eastern Africa, south of the Sahara, cattle raising is spreading alongside people who farm.

1000 Findings of Lapita pottery will tell athropologists that by now people originally from the Bismarck Archipelago have passed through Melanesia and have reached Tonga.

970 King David is succeeded by his son Solomon. Hebrews are writing a Phoenician language that includes words of Sumerian origin and have learned stories carried by that language. Religious toleration prevails as it had under David. Solomon has temples built for his wives, who worship gods other than the Hebrew god, Yahweh. Solomon has a temple constructed for Yahweh.

928 Around this year, King Solomon dies.

900 A writer, to be known as J, because he or she describes God as Jahweh, has or will soon write stories about the creation of Israel from 250 to 100 years before. (See Authors of the Bible, Fred Glynn, p.52.)

900 The Maya are migrating into the lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula, where they will grow beans, maize, chili peppers and squash.

900 Findings of Lapita pottery will tell anthropologists that people originally from the Bismarck Archipelago passed through Melanesia, and the earliest Lapita archeological site in Polynesia, in the Tonga Islands, begins. Lapita culture exists also in the Samoan Islands.

900 In India, traditional stories have been put into writing called the Vedas &ndash Veda meaning wisdom. Those opposed to this form of communicating their religion are ignored. The Vedas are considered an infallible source of timeless and revealed truth. In the coming century the writings called Upanishads begin, by persons interested in the relations between self and universe, an addition to Hinduism often associated with the Vedas and beyond Hinduism's routines of ritual sacrifices &ndash a collection of as many as two hundred books to be written across two centuries. One writer will speculate as to how many gods really exist and he will conclude that there is really only one god.

Kingdoms in the Middle East,
including Edom, around 830 BCE
click to enlarge

Middle East, Egypt, Judah
and Assyrian Empire, 800 to 671 BCE click to enlarge

900 Canaanites called Phoenicians are the leading seafaring traders in the Mediterranean Area. They are influenced linguistically by the Egyptians. The Phoenician alphabet, called by some a Proto-Canaanite alphabet, is spread by Phoenician merchants across the Mediterranean world. See a modern replica of a Phoenician trading ship at http://looklex.com/e.o/slides/phoenician_boat01.jpg

853 King Ahab of Israel, allied with the Phoenicians and with Damascus, defeats the empire-building Assyrians at QarQar in Syria.

815 The city of Carthage, on the coast of North Africa, is founded by Phoenicians from the city of Tyre.

800 In the coming century, Edom comes into existence as a social and political entity.

776 People on mainland Greece are trading again with peoples east of them, and the writing that disappeared with the invasions of previous centuries reappears. A sense of religious community has developed among Greece's aristocrats, and, beginning in 776, aristocrats from various city-states hold mid-summer religious festivals at Olympia. Greeks believe Olympia to be the center of the world and the home of the gods. In this century, the poet Homer reworks oral history on the Trojan War into writing. Called the Iliad, Homer's work is about an age of heroes. He praises warrior society and describes all as the doing of the gods.

771 Chuanrong tribesmen overrun Zhou civilization. Zhou kings rule in name only as the Zhou empire fragments into various power centers.

753 The year Roman legend claims Romulus and Remus founded Rome.

730 Nubians again invade Egypt. The Nubian king, Piankhi, moves his capital to Memphis and starts Egypt's 25th dynasty. An Egyptianization of Nubian culture is beginning, including the use of Egyptian writing. Egyptian is to be the official language of Nubian government, and gods among the Nubians acquire Egyptian names.

721 Assyria overruns Israel, disperses the Israelites and takes thousands as slaves. Israel as a nation vanishes. The Assyrians see their god, Assur, as having given them victory over the god of the Hebrews. Assyria's army moves through Judea, conquers Egypt in 676 and establishes the greatest of empires to date. The great Assyrian god, Assur, is seen as having defeated the Hebrew god, Yahweh. As with some other peoples, Hebrews see suffering as punishment for sin.

700 Aryan migrations into the Ganges Valley are over or coming to an end. Cities are rising in the Ganges Valley. Traders, merchants, landlords and money lending appear. In the coming century, Indians trade with the Assyrian Empire, Arabia and with the Chinese. In the West the Lydians are the first to make coins.

675 In the coming decades, rebellions against kings occur in various Greek city-states. Kings are replaced by cliques of wealthy men &ndash oligarchies. During the political turmoil people will find relief in a new religious cult that promotes everlasting life, community and emotional abandon. Its god is Dionysus, a god of fertility and vegetation. Men of wealth and power fear that worship of Dionysus might disrupt the order upon which they depend, but most Greeks hold onto the gods with whom they grew up, and many believed more in reason than in letting their emotions lead them to an acceptance of promises of eternal bliss.

660 Legendary founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu.

655 Egypt breaks away from Assyrian rule. Soon cities in Canaan also break away, and Phoenicia begins ignoring Assyrian directives.

640 With the end of Assyrian rule comes a resurgence of worship of the god Yahweh. King Josiah and Yahwist priests move against worshippers of other gods. The priests claim that a scroll has been found in a secret archive within Solomon's temple, a scroll signed by Moses. The scroll is used as a weapon against rival worship. An official intolerance rises that had not been the policy of kings David, Solomon, Jeroboam, Ahab and others. The practices of rival worship are forbidden: witchcraft, sorcery, using omens, worshiping images of gods in wood or stone, orgiastic fertility festivals, human sacrifices and temple rituals involving prostitution and homosexuality. Homosexuality is labeled an abomination.

623 A Chaldean army drives north from around Sumer and expels the Assyrians from Babylon.

612 The Medes and Chaldeans overrun Assyria's capital, Nineveh. Its walls are broken by siege engines that Assyria introduced centuries before. Assyrian communities, more than two thousand years old, are obliterated.

598 The Chaldeans overrun Jerusalem and Judah, while driving the Egyptians back to Egypt.

593 An Egyptian army sacks the Nubian city of Napata, along the upper Nile. Nubians push into Meroe.

587 Jerusalem rebels against Chaldean rule. The Chaldeans burn the city and tear down its walls and Solomon's temple. They round up about forty thousand from Judah as captives, including political leaders and high priests, and take them to their capital, Babylon.

585 A solar eclipse occurs that was predicted by a wealthy Greek man of leisure, an engineer and thinker, Thales, 39. Thales believes in the gods but is interested in the nature of things apart from magic. He theorizes that the world is in essence water. He mentors Anaximander, who rejects his ideas and develops a more complex theory about nature and change.

550 In Persia, the Zoroastrian religion explicity forbids slavery.

550 The Greek Pythagoras studies the movements of celestial bodies and mathematics. He blends his observations with Greek religion into what he believes is a theological coherence.

547 A Persian, Cyrus II, is expanding his empire and overthrows King Croesus of Lydia, in Asia Minor.

539 Cyrus conquers Babylon. There the captive high priests of Yahweh worship are liberated and see Cyrus as an agent of Yahweh. They expect Cyrus to inflict Yahweh's vengeance upon the wicked Babylonians. But Cyrus fails to punish Babylon. He honors Babylon's gods and disappoints the priests.

530 The Greek Xenophanes rejects mysticism, divine revelations and Pythagoras. He describes the gods of Homer as morally bankrupt. All they have taught men, he says, is theft, adultery and mutual deceit. He ridicules seeing gods as human-like and says that if oxen, horses or lions had hands to make images of their gods they would fashion them in their own image. He speculates that the earth stretches infinitely in all directions, that the earth is infinitely deep and that air extends infinitely upwards. He imagines a god as a central force in the universe but not human-like in shape, thought or emotions: a god that is everywhere and everything, a god that is the whole universe. And his belief that god is nature and nature is god leaves him open to the charge that he believes in no god at all.

517 Darius extends Persian rule through the Khyber Pass to the Indus River. The Persians still rule in Egypt, Asia Minor and everywhere in between, including Jerusalem.

510 Confucius is around forty. The use of iron has brought a higher productivity in agriculture in China, followed by a greater rise in population, urban growth and new wealth, and this has loosened social stratification. Confucius attributes the ills of his time to people neglecting the rituals or performing incorrectly the rituals of the early Zhou kings. Unlike other scholars of his time who become reclusive, Confucius tries to teach proper respect.

509 Roman nobles fed up with their Etruscan king drive him from power. The city of Rome becomes independent of the Etruscans and a republic.

508 In Athens, Greece, progressive members of the upper class unite with commoners in a popular rising against an oligarchy supported by Sparta. A democracy of sorts is created. Slavery in Athens lives on. Women in Athens are subject to custody of their fathers, their husbands, and, when they are widowed, their sons.

501 The Greek philosopher from the city of Ephesus, Heraclitus, is around forty. Rather than dwell on harmony, he sees conflict as a part of nature. He sees conflict producing change, and, recognizing conflicting interests, he introduces objectivity and compromise into deciding questions of justice.

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