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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.Migration by an Indo-European people was first hypothesized in the late 18th century, following the discovery of the Indo-European language family, when similarities between western and Indian languages had been noted.

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.

The oldest nucleus may have been the Samara culture (late 6th and early 5th millennium BCE), at a bend in the Volga.

Literary research reveals similarities between various, geographically distinct, Indo-Aryan historical cultures.

Ecological studies reveal that in the second millennium BCE widespread aridization lead to water shortages and ecological changes in both the Eurasian steppes and south Asia, causing the collapse of sedentary urban cultures in south central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and India, and triggering large-scale migrations, resulting in the merger of migrating peoples with the post-urban cultures.

discuss scenarios around the theory of an origin from outside South Asia of Indo-Aryan peoples, an ascribed ethnolinguistic group that spoke Indo-Aryan languages, the predominant languages of North India.

Proponents of Indo-Aryan origin outside of South Asia generally consider migrations into the region and Anatolia (ancient Mitanni) from Central Asia to have started around 1500 BCE, as a slow diffusion during the Late Harappan period, which led to a language shift in northern South Asia.

There is "general agreement" that north and south Indians share a common maternal ancestry. (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 but later Vedic and Puranic texts do show the movement into the Gangetic plains.

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.

1800–1600 BCE into the Indo-Aryans and the Iranians.

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