Scattered finds of microlithic implements and polished stone Celts attest the probable existence of Mesolithic and Neolithic cultures in India, but practically nothing is known about them. In the middle of the 3d millennium B.c., the remarkable Indus culture flourished in the northwest. The excavations of Mohenjodaro and Harappa reveal a civilization that rivaled that of Egypt and Mesopotamia.
This was followed at a slightly later date by the so-called Jhukar and Jhangar cultures in the same region, but little that represents a real Bronze Age has been found outside the Indus Valley. History begins for northern India shortly after the invasion of the Indo-Aryans toward the end of the 2d millennium B.C., but no archaeological remains have been found there dating much before 500 B.C. The rest of India is largely a blank to us until a century or two before the Christian Era, although in central and southern India there are a great number of Iron Age cemeteries (with burials in cists, cairns, stone circles, urns, etc.), some of which are prehistoric and others probably date to some time well within the Christian Era.