The Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up to large parts of Afghanistan in the north, with several sites being known. Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived at what is now Afghanistan in 330 BCE after conquering Persia during the Battle of Gaugamela, Afghanistan has been a strategically important location throughout history. The land served as a gateway to India, impinging on the ancient Silk Road, the archaeological manifestation of the Indo-Iranians before their split into separate language groups is generally seen as the Andronovo culture to the north of present-day Afghanistan. The Iranian languages were developed by one branch of these people, elena E. Kuzmina argues that the tents of Iranian-speaking nomads of Afghanistan developed from the light surface houses of the Eurasian steppe belt in the Bronze Age. The Arab invasions influenced the culture of Afghanistan, and its period of Zoroastrian, Macedonian, Buddhist. Turkic empire-builders such as the Ghaznavids and Timurids made the now called Afghanistan of major importance. Mirwais Hotak followed by Ahmad Shah Durrani unified Afghan tribes and founded the last Afghan Empire in the early 18th century CE, a cave called Kara Kamar contained Upper Paleolithic blades Carbon-14 dated at 34,000 years old. Farming communities in Afghanistan were among the earliest in the world, archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation in Afghanistan from as far back as 50,000 BC. The artifacts indicate that the people were small farmers and herdsmen, very probably grouped into tribes. Urbanization may have begun as early as 3000 BCE, Zoroastrianism predominated as the religion in the area, even the modern Afghan solar calendar shows the influence of Zoroastrianism in the names of the months. Other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism flourished later, leaving a mark in the region. Early inhabitants, around 3000 BCE were likely to have been connected through culture and trade to neighboring civilizations like Jiroft and Tappeh Sialk and the Indus Valley Civilization. Urban civilization may have begun as early as 3000 BCE and it is possible that the city of Mundigak was a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. The first known people were Indo-Iranians, but their date of arrival has been estimated widely from as early as about 3000 BCE to 1500 BCE, the Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization extending from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. Apart from Shortughai is Mundigak another notable site, there are several other smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. The Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex became prominent in the southwest region between 2200 and 1700 BCE, the city of Balkh was founded about this time. It is possible that the BMAC may have been an Indo-European culture, but the standard model holds the arrival of Indo-Aryans to have been in the Late Harappan which gave rise to the Vedic civilization of the Early Iron Age
Tents of Afghannomads in the northern Badghis province of Afghanistan. Early peasant farming villages came into existence in Afghanistan about 7,000 years ago.
Arachosia, Aria and Bactria were the ancient satraps of the Achaemenid Empire that made up most of what is now Afghanistan during 500 BCE. Some of the inhabitants of Arachosia were known as Pactyans, whose name possibly survives in today's Pakhtuns (Pashtuns).