Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Golden Chersonese

Golden Chersonese is the ancient name for the Malay Peninsula, as named by the Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy.

Flowing from north to south throughout the length of the Peninsula, Ptolemy depicted a large river, which in its lower reaches divided into three streams. Ptolemy conceive of the Malayan drainage system as consisting of a trunk stream flowing from north to south down the centre of the Peninsula, with lateral rivers branching off to the east and west coast somewhere to the south of the widest part.

Golden Chersonese bears a witness to the importance of Malay as a sources of gold for the ancient world.

It is believed that the mining of gold in Peninsula began two thousand years ago. In the first century Indian dispatched a number of expedition to seek this mythical land.

The Indians called the Malay Peninsula, ‘Suvarna Bumi’ or The Golden Land. They were already making regular visits to peninsula in search of the precious metal, tin and aromatic jungle woods.

In the first century onwards Indian Kingdoms has begun to be formed in the Golden Chersonese or Malay Peninsula.

Much more significant was the dominance of the mighty Srivijaya Empire, which held sway from the 7th to the 13th centuries.

Under the protection of the Srivijayans, a significant Malay trading state grew in the Bujang Valley of Kedah.

A pieces of gold and gold jewellery used in the Srivijaya empire between the seventh and thirteenth century have been found in the Bujang Valley.

By the sixteenth century, the legends of the Golden Chersonese, about the distant land having more gold and exotic treasures than people were established among the sea going nations of Europe.

The court of the Kingdom of Langkasuka, which was said to have sprung up on the Malay Peninsula during the 2nd century AD, was legendary for its ostentatious display of gold. The king was known to parade astride an elephant that was adorned from head to toe in gold.

In addition, Pahang gold seems to have been an important item of commerce from before the Christian era until 17th or 18th century AD.
Golden Chersonese

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