added by archaeologs A people who called themselves Arya and spoke an Indo-European language, Sanskrit, known from the Rigveda and other early Indian sources. They are thought to have invaded India from the northwest during the 2nd millennium bc and to have spread east and south in the succeeding centuries. By c500 bc Aryan speech was probably established over much of the area in which Indo-Aryan languages are now spoken, that is, most of the Indian subcontinent. Archaeologists have devoted much time to the search for archaeological traces of the Aryans, with no very marked degree of success, though many authorities believe that Painted Grey ware marks their presence. The invasion of the Aryans may have been responsible for, or contributed to, the downfall of the Harappan civilization.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983