Geographical data.--From the geographical data of the RV., especially the numerous rivers there mentioned, it is to be inferred that the Indo-Aryan tribes when the hymns were composed occupied the territory roughly corresponding to the north-west Frontier Province, and the Panjab of to-day. The references to flora and fauna bear out this conclusion.
The historical data of the hymns show that the Indo-Aryans were still engaged in war with the aborigines, many victories over these foes being mentioned. That they were still moving forward as conquerors is indicated by references to rivers as obstacles to advance. Though divided into many tribes, they were conscious of religious and racial unity, contrasting the aborigines with themselves by calling them non-sacrificers and unbelievers, as well as 'black-skins' and the 'Dasa colour' as opposed to the 'Aryan colour'.
Incidental references scattered throughout the hymns supply a good deal of information about the social conditions of the time. Thus it is clear that the family, with the father at its head, was the basis of society, and that women held a freer and more honoured position than in later times. Various crimes are mentioned, robbery, especially of cattle, apparently being the commonest. Debt, chiefly as a result of gambling, was known. Clothing consisted usually of an upper and a lower garment, which were made of sheep's wool. Bracelets, anklets, necklaces, and earrings were worn as ornaments. Men usually grew beards, but sometimes shaved. Food mainly consisted of milk, clarified butter, grain, vegetables, and fruit. Meat was eaten only when animals were sacrificed. The commonest kind appears to have been beef, as bulls were the chief offerings to the gods. Two kinds of spirituous liquor were made: Soma was drunk at religious ceremonies only, while Sura, extracted from some kind of grain, was used on ordinary occasions.