Is there a lost Khmer city in Pahang?

First the lost city of Johor, now the lost city of Pahang? The existence of seven pyramid-like hills near Lake Chini is believed to be the remains of a lost city – but could this city be part of the Khmer empire? And if so, what was it doing so far south?

Lost city of the Khmer empire?
New Straits Times, 10 December 2007


The key point in linking the lost city (if there is one) is this:

Although many people have made claims of a sunken city, little effort has been made to unravel the mystery. Based on pieces of porcelain found in the area, the city could have been built when the Khmer empire was at the height of its power.

That’s not very much to go by, I think. So what if you find Khmer ceramics in the region? It doesn’t prove the ethnicity of the previous inhabitants. If we did, we should be able to state that the Chinese were living all over Southeast Asia based on the Tang, Song and Yuan dynasty types we find -quite literally- all over the place.

More likely, the presence of exotic ceramics would imply some sort of interaction with outside civilisations, likely to be in the form of trade and commerce. Unfortunately, the NST article doesn’t state much on what kind of ceramics they were so we don’t have narrower date scale.

Perhaps there could be a lost city, but I highly doubt that it was Khmer. Remember also that while we know a great deal of the classical civilisations in Southeast Asia – about 8th-15th century AD – relatively less is know about the same period in Peninsular Malaysia.

Read about the alleged lost city of the Khmers here.

Related books:
Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula by P. M. Munoz
Udaya Journal of Khmer Studies, Issue No. 1: Khmer Ceramics
Khmer Ceramics (Oxford in Asia Studies in Ceramics) by D. Rooney
Early History (The Encyclopedia of Malaysia) by Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman (Ed)
Khmer ceramics, 9th-14th century by the Southeast Asian Ceramics Society

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

5 thoughts on “Is there a lost Khmer city in Pahang?”

  1. “Before this, all the hills looked normal. However, the way they were ‘positioned’ is not natural and that is quite interesting,” …………… Hmm, maybe the 7 hills were seats used by Bigfoot and his family as they were roaming around between Johor and Pahang.

  2. one of the early evidence can be found in pekan is a tomb stone..early than batu bersurat Terengganu and Pekan located in Pahang can be one of the ancient city in Malaysia..based on the tomb stone from Malacca Sultanate/Siamese…

  3. IA NYA MUNGKIN KOTA SATELIT BAGI KERAJAAN SRIWIJAYA SEKITAR TM 900-1000 ATAU PUN PENEMPATAn SEMENTARA PELARIAN KERAJAAN GANGGA NEGARA SETELAH TEWAS KPD RAJENDRA CHOLA SEKITAR TAHUN YANG SAMA .TOK RASA IA NYA ADA LAH PERKAMPUNGAN KECIL BERPENDUDUK SEKITAR 500 ORANG .MEREKA MENGUTIP CUKAI DI LALUAN SUNGAI PAHANG DAN “MEROMPAK” PEDAGANG BARANGKALI DAN MENYEMBUNYIKAN HARTA TERSEBUT DI PENEMPATAN TASIK CHINI.

  4. SATU CARA UNTUK MEMBUKTIKAN NYA IA LAH MENGERINGKAN TASIK TERSEBUT KETIKA MUSIM KEMARAU DENGAN CARA MENDALAMKAN SUNGAI CHINI .ATAU PUN MEMBUAT IMBASAN LAMPAU MERAH DARI SATELIT KETIKA PAGI , TENGAHARI DAN MALAM DAN JUGA MENGGUNAKAN KAMERA VEDIO DARI ATAS PERMUKAAN TASIK .

  5. ADA LAH SALAH SAMA SEKALI MENDAKWA ORANG CHINA TINGGAL DI ASIA TENGGARA .SEBENAR MEREKA ADA LAH PARA PEDAGANG DAN DALAM KEBANYAKAN KES TIDAK JUJUR DAN MENGAMBIL KESEMPATAN TERHADAP PELANGGAN .

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