The history of Burdwan is known from about 5000 BC and belonging to the Mesolithic or Late Stone Age. The name Burdwan is an anglicized form of the Sanskrit word Vardhamana. The first epigraphic reference to the name occurs in a 6th. century AD copper -plate found in the village of Mallasarul in Galsi Police Station. There are two views about the origin of the name Barddhamana. One, it might have been named after the 24th. Jaina Tirthankar or barddhamanasvami. According to the Kalpasutra of the Jains, Mahavira spent sometime in Astikgrama which was formerly known as Barddhamana. According to the other view, Barddhamana means prosperous growth centre. In the progress of Aryanisation from the upper Ganges valley, the frontier colony was called Barddhamana as a landmark of growth and prosperity.
The excavations of 1954 and 1957 revealed that the Mesolithic Age has been traced at Birbhanpur in Durgapur Thana. These discoveries are results of excavations carried on during 1962-65 at Pandu Rajar Dhibi in the valley of the river Ajay (near Bhedia) and in several other sites on the Ajay, Kunur and Kopai rivers. This Dhibi has revealed that the people of those days were capable of building well-planned towns with pavements and streets. They lived in citadels and houses built of unfired clay reinforced with reeds and having plastered walls and floors of beaten peletty laterite. They knew the use of copper. Agriculture and trade was the mainstay of their economy. Vardhhamana continued to be a well-known division of the ancient Bengal. In the 6th century epigraphic evidence points to the existence of Vardhhamana as a famous Bhukti and in that age it was also mentioned as Radhadesa or Radha. Radha-Varddhamana area become a part of the Maurya empire and remained so throughout. But following the dissolution of the Gupta empire, one or more independent Kingdoms were established in Bengal.