Drenthe has been populated by people since prehistory . Artifacts from the Wolostonian Stage(150.000 years ago) are among the oldest found in the Netherlands. In fact it was one of the most densely populated areas of the Netherlands until the Bronze Age. Most tangible evidence of this are the dolmens built around 3500 BC, 53 of the 54 dolmens in the Netherlands can be found in Drenthe, concentrated in the northeast of the province.
Drenthe was first mentioned in a document from the year 820, it was called Pago Treanth(district Drenthe). In archives from "Het Drents Archief" from 1024 to 1025 the "county Drenthe" is mentioned.