The Post-14th Century Ancient Kedah: A Port In Decline?

Abstract

Ancient Kedah is a collection of ancient settlements, consisting of ports as well as centres for iron production, located in the Bujang Valley. From the 2nd to the 14th Century C.E., various Indian, Arab and Chinese texts mentioned the importance of Ancient Kedah as a trading and iron production centres. Such is evident from the various archaeological remains found in the area, consisting of tradewares, Hindu-Buddhist structural remains, icons and inscriptions, as well as iron smelting sites.  Although much has been written regarding the trade and culture of Ancient Kedah during its height, the period of Ancient Kedah’s decline in the 14th Century C.E. has been understudied. By using geomorphological, archaeological and historical evidences, the circumstances which led to the decline of Ancient Kedah is discussed in this paper. This research had shown that the decline of Ancient Kedah was caused by multitude of factors, both internal and external. The internal factor is the environmental and geomorphological changes, which made the area of Bujang Valley less accessible to trading vessels. As for the external factors, the leading cause was the political disunity as well as the shifting of old tradework after the decline of Srivijaya. After the establishment of Malaccan Sultanate in the early 15th Century, the role of Ancient Kedah as an international trading centre ended.

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About this article

Publication Date

18 December 2019

eBook ISBN

978-1-80296-067-9

Publisher

Future Academy

Volume

68

Print ISBN (optional)

-

Edition Number

1st Edition

Pages

1-806

Subjects

Sociolinguistics, linguistics, literary theory, political science, political theory

Cite this article as:

Khaw, N. B. R., Shahidan, S., Zainun*, N., & Saidin, M. (2019). The Post-14th Century Ancient Kedah: A Port In Decline?. In N. S. Mat Akhir, J. Sulong, M. A. Wan Harun, S. Muhammad, A. L. Wei Lin, N. F. Low Abdullah, & M. Pourya Asl (Eds.), Role(s) and Relevance of Humanities for Sustainable Development, vol 68. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 25-34). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.09.3