Tools crafted by proto-humans that have been dated back two million years have been discovered in the northwestern part of the subcontinent.
The ancient history of the region includes some of South Asia's oldest settlements and some of its major civilisations.
The earliest archaeological site in the subcontinent is the palaeolithic hominid site in the Soan River valley.
Soanian sites are found in the Sivalik region across what are now India, Pakistan, and Nepal.
The Mesolithic period in the Indian subcontinent was followed by the Neolithic period, when more extensive settlement of the subcontinent occurred after the end of the last Ice Age approximately 12,000 years ago.
Mode de production domestique
The first confirmed semipermanent settlements appeared 9,000 years ago in the Bhimbetka rock shelters in modern Madhya Pradesh, India.
Early Neolithic culture in South Asia is represented by the Bhirrana findings (7500 BCE) in Haryana, India & Mehrgarh findings (7000–9000 BCE) in Balochistan, Pakistan.
Traces of a Neolithic culture have been alleged to be submerged in the Gulf of Khambat in India, radiocarbon dated to 7500 BCE.
Neolithic agricultural cultures sprang up in the Indus Valley region around 5000 BCE, in the lower Gangetic valley around 3000 BCE, and in later South India, spreading southwards and also northwards into Malwa around 1800 BCE.
The first urban civilisation of the region began with the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Indus Valley Civilisation - Mode de production industriel
It was centred on the Indus River and its tributaries which extended
into the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley,
the Ganges-Yamuna Doab,
and southeastern Afghanistan.
The civilisation was primarily located in modern-day India
(Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan provinces)
(Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan provinces).
Historically part of Ancient India, it is one of the world's earliest urban civilisations, along with Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.
Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley, the Harappans, developed new techniques in metallurgy and handicraft (carneol products, seal carving), and produced copper, bronze, lead, and tin.
The Mature Indus civilisation flourished from about 2600 to 1900 BCE, marking the beginning of urban civilisation on the subcontinent.
The civilisation included urban centres such as Dholavira, Kalibangan, Ropar, Rakhigarhi, and Lothal in modern-day India, as well as Harappa, Ganeriwala, and Mohenjo-daro in modern-day Pakistan.
The civilisation is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multistoreyed houses and is thought to have had some kind of municipal organization.
During the late period of this civilisation, signs of a gradual decline began to emerge, and by around 1700 BCE, most of the cities were abandoned.
However, the Indus Valley Civilisation did not disappear suddenly, and some elements of the Indus Civilisation may have survived, especially in the smaller villages and isolated farms.
The Indian Copper Hoard Culture is attributed to this time, associated in the Doab region with the Ochre Coloured Pottery.