The Helmand culture is majorly related to the Bronze Age culture of the 3rd millennium BC and can been seen in a majority of its sites like Shahr-i-Sokhta, Bampur & Mundigak. The Helmand civilisation flourished between 2500 BC and 1900 BC. It is also believed that the civilisation may have overlapped with the great Indus Valley Civilisation.
Some historians also write that the Helmand culture is closely related to Jiroft culture which was flourishing in the eastern Iran at the same time when Helmand culture was thriving in western Afghanistan.
Before falling in the hands of Archaemenid, Helmand was occupied by ancient people and was ruled by the Medes. The area was a strategic goldmine due to its location in Asia; it connects southern, central & southwest Asia. The Buddhist and Hindus were also the main inhabitants of this region and that’s why it was also known as “White India”.
In 330 BC, the army of Alexander the Great invaded in the territory after which it became a part of Seleucid Empire, which was later on ruled by Ashoka a Mauryan emperor. The territory was also ruled by Zunbils who were sun worshiping Hindus. The Muslim Arabs arrived in the 7th century under the command of Abdul Rahman Bin Samara and introduced the area to Islam. Later on it was ruled by the Saffarids of Zarani who is known as the first Muslim ruler of the area. In the 10th century Mahmud of Ghazni made it a part of the Ghaznavids Empire which was then replaced by Ghurids.
In the 13th century, the Mongol army invaded under the administration of Genghis Khan and demolished whole of the area. After that, Timurids established the rule and started rebuilding cities. From 1383 till his death, it was governed by Pir Muhammad who was a grandson of Timur. In the early the 16th century Babur took the area. In 1709 Mir Wais Hotak defeated Safavids and made it a part of Hotaki Dynasty. The Hotakis managed to rule the area till 1738, after which Afsharids defeated Shah Hussain Hotaki.
Lastly, in 1747 the area came under the jurisdiction of Ahmed Shah Durrani of the Durrani dynasty, who then placed the foundation of modern state of Afghanistan. After this, the area witnessed some other wars as well like the Anglo-Afghan war between the British and Local Afghans in the late 18th century and the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979.
Then in 2001, after the US invasion, the area again turned into a battlefield and witnessed dense fights. Later on after bringing peace in the province in 2006 it was decided that the International Security Assistance Forces (ASAF) will be replacing the US troops and it will be led by British brigade.
Various operations were executed for eliminating the insurgents from the province, in result of which in 2007, a Taliban top commander Mullah Dadullah was killed along with his 11 members by NATO led Afghan forces. By April 2008, about 1,500 2nd battalion 7th Marines were able to occupy 300 miles of the Helmand River.