The third type, more numerous, subsumes a series of weapons spread in northern and western Bulgaria, southwestern and central Romania. These daggers are characterized by the long blade, elegant execution in most cases, ornamentation with circular incisions and/or lines along the blade, the existence of the blood drain groove, the tang of the handle continued along its length and the guard. These distinctive elements are found either all together or some specimens have one or more such peculiarities. The dimensions show a relative standardization, located around 30-40 cm long and approx. 3 cm wide, some pieces slightly exceeding these quotas. The poor preservation or non-specification of dimensions in the case of artifacts has not always allowed the accurate classification of daggers belonging to this type except through the use of statistical analysis and existing analogies. Chronologically, this type of dagger is dated predominantly in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. The daggers discovered come from: Comacovtzi, Hassan-Faka (now Kamburovo), Galiče, Koínare, Osen, Pavolče, Sofronievo, Tarnava, Vinograd, localities in Bulgaria, then: Călăraşi, Cetate, Corneşti, Corcova, Golenţi, Orodel, Mehedinţi, Popeşti, Rast, Viiaşu, ViişoaraMică, Blandiana, Călan, Cugir, Hunedoara, Teleac, Sibiu, situated on Romanian territory.
This typological series also belongs to the northernmost specimens of sica daggers discovered at Mala Kopanya, Trans-carpathia, Ukraine.
This series is not without artifacts of its own auctioned on themed sites. We have identified six such well-preserved daggers with typological characteristics that place them in the category of curved sica daggers, but which must be viewed with some dose of scepticism, in the absence of information provided by the archaeological context.
Beyond all morphological differences, not always decisive enough, what puts the sica daggers in a unique cultural horizon is the archaeological context in which they were discovered. With small exceptions, this is a funeral one, with an inventory specific to the Iron Age warriors of the Balkan Peninsula who often, in addition to weapons, also contained harness pieces, ornaments or chariots.
These discoveries, which by their nature complete an elaborate, specific funeral rite and ritual, have been defined as a cultural complex, called Padea-Panaghiurski Kolonii, which covers the geographical area mentioned and dates from the 2nd century BC. and until the 1st century BC. The presence, in the tombs of the 2nd and 2nd centuries BC, of the sica daggers, together with the typical Thracian bit sand chariots, emphasises the ethnic imprint of the Thracians in the conglomerate of warriors who quickly penetrated the Danube basin and then into the center of Transylvania.
The most common weapon associations attributed to this group are the spearheads, in some cases two found in the same tomb, with the straight sword, the shield boss and the curved dagger, plus various pieces of harness: spurs, bits, buckles. This type of burial inventory, almost constantly found in the tombs from which the daggers originate, allows the identification and reconstitution of specific inventories, disparate over time for a number of reasons.
The particularly complex ornamentation of daggers gives them a cumulation of spiritual, artistic and symbolic valences. Geometric motifs, as well as vultures and snakes, whose schematisation implies the existence of a certain “code”, understood only by the informed members of the group, have been incised on the blades. The function of ornamentation in warrior ideology is given by the frequency with which it is encountered and by the wide areas on which it has spread. It may have had a strong apotropaic charge and, at the same time, it was an emblem that emphasized the allegianceto a warrior brotherhood or demonstrated a certain social status. The symbols engraved on the dagger blades provided a spiritual bindingofthe warrior to his social environment, transposing into the material world the set of spiritual bonds existing between the members of the group, placing the individual in a network of well-defined relationships and excluding the feeling of loneliness.