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Little is known historically about the Aryans, other than what can be gleaned from their holy texts called veda ('knowledge'). The earliest of these, the Rigveda, is a collection of more than 1000 hymns in Sanskrit, the language of the Aryans. The hymns are for the use of priests in the temple rituals of sacrifice.

The hymns, dating from well before 1000 BC, survive in oral form for hundreds of years (Sanskrit does not acquire a script until about 500 BC). They are the beginning of a religious tradition which will evolve, with much borrowing from the Aryans' neighbours in the subcontinent, into the complex religion widely known now as Hinduism.

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