Punjab has been inhabited since ancient times. The Indus Valley Civilization, Indo-Aryan peoples and Indo-Scythians, dating to 2600 BCE. Punjab features heavily in the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and is home to Taxila, site of what is considered by many to be the oldest university in the world. In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great defeated King Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes near Mong, Punjab. The Umayyad Empire conquered Punjab in the 8th century CE. Punjab was later invaded by Tamerlane, Babur, and Nader Shah.
Punjab is Pakistan's most industrialised province with the industrial sector making up 24% of the province's gross domestic product. Punjab is also one of South Asia's most urbanized regions with approximately 40% of people living in urban areas.
Punjab has the largest economy in Pakistan, contributing most to the national GDP. The province's economy has quadrupled since 1972. It is especially dominant in the service, agriculture and manufacturing sectors of Pakistan's economy. It is also major manpower contributor because it has largest pool of professionals and highly skilled (technically trained) manpower in Pakistan.