Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Indus region, which covers a considerable amount of Pakistan, was the site of several ancient cultures including the Neolithic era's Mehrgarh and the bronze era Indus Valley Civilisation (2500–1500 BCE) at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.[19]
Waves of conquerors and migrants from the west—including Harappan, Indo-Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Sakas, Parthians, Kushans, Hephthalites, Afghans, Arabs, Turks and Mughals—settled in the region throughout the centuries, influencing the locals and being absorbed among them.[20] Ancient empires of the east—such as the Nandas, Mauryas, Sungas, Guptas and the Palas—ruled these territories at different times from Patliputra.[21]
However, in the medieval period, while the eastern provinces of Punjab and Sindh grew aligned with Indo-Islamic civilisation, the western areas became culturally allied with the Iranian civilisation of Afghanistan and Iran.[22] The region served as a crossroads of historic trade routes, including the Silk Road, and as a maritime entreport for the coastal trade between Mesopotamia and beyond up to Rome in the west and Malabar and beyond up to China in the east.[23]
Modern day Pakistan was at the heart of the Indus Valley Civilisation; that collapsed in the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE and was followed by the Vedic Civilisation, which also extended over much of the Indo-Gangetic plains. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region