Friday, July 5, 2013

Aryans bring changes to India & Aryan Immigrants

Aryans bring changes to India
Around 1500 B.C. large numbers of people began to migrate into India. These migrations lasted for more than 3,000 years. They were important because they introduced to the region people with different customs and ideas. The earliest immigrants are known as Aryans (AIR.ee.uhnz). The word Aryan means "noble." The Aryans were warriors and herders from eastern Europe and western Asia. Many came from areas near the Black and Caspian seas. Their arrival on the Indian subcontinent caused many changes to the way of life of the people of India.

Aryan Immigrants
The earliest Aryan migrations took place over hundreds of years. They were part of a larger southward movement of people called Indo-Europeans. Why the Aryans and others left their original home is not known. Overpopulation in their homeland may have forced the Aryans to migrate.

Some Aryans moved west, into Europe. Others pushed south, through the mountain passes of the Hindu Kush, a part of the Himalayas. These Aryans moved to the Punjab, which is now part of Pakistan. Aryans eventually occupied much of northern India as well.

Each wave of migration brought more Aryans to the subcontinent. Soon the Aryans competed with the native people of India for land. The Aryans were stronger fighters because they had horses. Until the Aryans arrived, there were no horses in India. The Aryans also introduced the chariot to India.

Before coming to India the Aryans had lived as herders. They raised cattle, goats, and sheep. From these animals, the Aryans got meat, milk products, and wool for their clothing. Over time, the Aryans shifted from herding to farming. Crops such as barley and possibly wheat were first grown in India by the Aryans.

The Aryans lived in small villages in the countryside. In the following centuries life and work in India came to center on the villages. Present-day India has huge cities. Many Indian people, however, still live in small villages. In fact, India is often called "a nation of villages."
What may have caused the Aryans to leave their homeland?

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