Ancient trading centres in the Malay Peninsula

Archaeological findings suggest that several sites on the Malay Peninsula were trading centres already from prehistoric times. The earliest trading centres, situated both on the East and West coast, were mainly collecting centres from where local products were sold. They probably traded with Mainland Southeast Asia. Entrepots, large trading centres on the sea trade routes between East and West, appeared on the Malay Peninsula during the 6th/ 7th century AD, mainly on the West coast at the Northern entrance of the Straits of Malacca, which became an increasingly important route for international trade. The rise of the entrepots occasioned the emergence of feeder points along the coasts and rivers, which provided them with regional goods.

Related Information

  • Authors:
    Leong Sau Heng
    5th century BC to 15th century AD
    Language of article:

    International Seminar for UNESCO Integral Study of the Silk Roads: Roads of Dialogue “Harbour cities along the Silk Roads”. 9-14 January 1991. Surabaya, Indonesia.


    Malaysia, Thailand

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