Beads trade in Peninsula Malaysia: Based on archaeological evidences

Zuliskandar Ramli, Nik Hassan Shuhaimi, Nik Abdul Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Beadsmaking industries are the oldest handcraft industries in the world. The oldest beads were made from seeds, sea shells, animal bones and animal claws. Century's later clay, resin, wax, stone, glass and metal were used to produce the bead as the human knowledge in science and technology had grows tremendously. In Peninsula Malaysia, thousand of glass and stone beads were firstly reported by Evans during his excavation at Kuala Selinsing, Perak. In Pulau Kelumpang, several type of stone found here were made from carnelian, agate, beryl, sodalite, moldavite, plasma, jasper, aventurine and quartz cat eye. The origin of the stone beads that had been unearth from Pulau Kelumpang archaeological sites were not local but had been brought from elsewhere. The stone beads found in Pulau Kelumpang were probably introduced either as raw materials or as finished products and could have been originated from India, Middle East and perhaps China. Beryl, plasma, aventurine and sodalite had been mined for centuries in India, particularly from Mysore, Coimbatore, Rajasthan and Kashmir. Similarly the Middle East countries, particularly Iran and Iraq are well known for producing sodalite and aventurine. The Chinese for ages used plasma and aventurine as jade substitutes. H.D Collings also found several glass beads when he excavated metal age burial at Slim River, Perak. In the middle of 1930's, G.B Gardner made an impressive collection of a wide range of types of glass beads in Johor Lama and Kota Tinggi and then sent them to Horace Beck to identify the origin of the beads. The beads found in Kota Tinggi can be characterized as a Roman beads and South East Asia type with parallels at Pengkalan Bujang and Kuala Selinsing. The discovery of thousand of beads made from glass, stone, clay, wood and metal at Kampung Sungai Mas, Kota Kuala Muda, Kedah and Pengkalan Bujang, Kedah showed that Bujang Valley from 5th to 13th Century functioned as an entreport in South East Asia region. Scientific analysis on monochrome glass beads from Kampung Sungai Mas suggested that Sungai Mas was among the Indo Pacific glass beadsmaking centre in the world. Several beads also found in Angin Cave at Jerantut, Pahang showed that the beads were used as trading item between the coastal and inland people. The discoveries of beads have shown that the international trades in Peninsula Malaysia have begun since 500 B.C. and the traders came from India, Persia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-593
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Sciences
Volume10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

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Malaysia
India
Middle East
Iran
animal
evidence
China
industry
Cambodia
raw materials
Vietnam
world trade
Iraq
Thailand
funeral
river
science

Keywords

  • Beads
  • Indo Pacific glass beads
  • Pulau Kelumpang
  • Sungai Mas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Beads trade in Peninsula Malaysia : Based on archaeological evidences. / Ramli, Zuliskandar; Shuhaimi, Nik Hassan; Rahman, Nik Abdul.

In: European Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 10, No. 4, 11.2009, p. 585-593.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ramli, Zuliskandar ; Shuhaimi, Nik Hassan ; Rahman, Nik Abdul. / Beads trade in Peninsula Malaysia : Based on archaeological evidences. In: European Journal of Social Sciences. 2009 ; Vol. 10, No. 4. pp. 585-593.
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