The region falls into three major areas: the stretch between Peshawar and Taxila comprising the Peshawar valley and the Potwar plateau, the area between Swat and Chitral and finally the valley of Kashmir. The Neolithic levels of Saraikhola in the Potwar plateau gave way to Kot Diji related horizon and in some way this region as a whole was within the trading network of the contemporary Indus plains. In the Swat Chitral region the large number of sites that have been excavated show the use of different metals, stone and other objects among which are shell, coral and ivory which must have reached this region from the Indus plains. The rock shelter site of Ghaligai which perhaps goes back to 3000 BC provides the baseline in Swat -Chitral. The proto-historic graveyards of the region are dated between the second quarter of the second millennium BC and the late centuries BC. The evidence of such graveyards and associated settlements has been categorised as the Gandhara Grave Culture.
These Copper Age graves are marked by in-flexed burials and urn burials after cremation. Grave sites and associated settlements have been investigated at a large number of sites including Loebanr, Aligrama, Birkot Ghundai, Kherari, Lalbatai, Timargarha, Balambat, Kalako-Deray and Zarif Karuna located in the valleys of Chitral, Swat, Dir and Buner etc. In Kashmir more than 30 Neolithic sites have been found scattered but most of them are in the Baramula, Anantnag and Srinagar regions. This distribution points out that this was not a culture isolated from the plains. Handmade grey pottery with a mat impressed base is a distinguishing feature of the ceramic phase of the Kashmir Neolithic at both its excavated sites - Gufkral and Burzahom. The Neolithic phase in Kashmir merged into a megalithic phase around the middle of the second millennium BC. Handmade grey pottery with a mat impressed base is a distinguishing feature of the ceramic phase of the Kashmir Neolithic at both its excavated sites- Gufkral and Burzahom. The Neolithic phase in Kashmir merged into a megalithic phase around the middle of the second millennium BC.1. Ladakh and Almora