Muzium Negara Gallery A
Trade system in Malaysia was developed during the Neolithic Age in the form of barter trade. Forest produce such as rattan and tree resins were traded for sea products. Earthen ware, including tripod pottery, might have been brought in from Thailand.
This system of barter trade continued to until the Metal Age. It can be verified from archaeological discoveries of bronze drums and bells that originate from Vietnam (Dongson) as well as the Moko drums from Indonesia.
Early maritime trade underwent rapid development in the region. With China in the east, India and Arab in the west. Traveling by sea depended almost entirely on the monsoons which predictably change directions every six months or so. Malaysia benefited significantly due to its strategic location in between the two worlds.
Bujang Valley in Kedah, Tioman Island off Pahang, and Kuala Berang in Trengganu benefited the most during this early trade due. Overland trade routes were established between
- Ligor and Takuapa, on the east coast of the Peninsula, with Bujang Valley on the west coast
- between Patani and Melaka through Penarikan in Johor, which was the most important trade route then.
Among the more important archaeological discoveries were
- bronze drums
- clay pottery
- Chinese ceramics from the Tang and Sung dynasties
- glass artifacts from the Arab countries
- beads from India.
Local products found included aromatic wood products such as sandal wood, wood resin and spices.