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India - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
1 India is home to one of the oldest civilizations on the planet. Only in the last 50 years has India enjoyed true freedom of its people. Invasions of India began with the first Aryan invasion several thousands of years ago. Since then, India and its people have fallen under the rule of invading forces with great regularity.
2 The earliest Indian history is preserved in the ruins of a city called Mohenjo Daro, which lies in present-day Pakistan. Thousands of years ago, citizens of Mohenjo Daro had developed systems of counting, writing, weighing and measuring. They practiced advanced ways of life that were unknown in Europe even as late as the 19th century. The city featured ditches and canals that irrigated local farms. The fate of the people at Mohenjo Daro is unknown.
3 Aryans began invading India about 4,000 years ago. They were the tribes of people from north of India in central Asia. The word "Aryan" is a Sanskrit word meaning "owners of land." They moved into India as other Aryans were moving into Europe. The Aryans in both India and Europe became ancestors of some of today's fair-skinned people in India and Europe.
4 The Aryans found plenty of dark-skinned natives in India. Some of the natives, called Dravidians, moved southward ahead of the Aryans, settling in southern India. Many of their descendants can be still be found there today. Although Aryan influence extended all over India, they never actually conquered southern India and the Dravidians who lived there.
5 During years of Aryan influence, the caste system developed in India. A caste system is a division of society based on wealth, occupation, and/or lineage. The caste system in India has lasted throughout most of its modern history.
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