WEAPONS FROM URSICI, Bosorod Village, Hunedoara County

Iosif Vasile Ferencz, Cristina Bodó, Angelica Balos


Article taken from the Enciclopedia Dacica.


A recent discovery, which aroused the interest of the local press at the time of its reporting, enriched the collections of the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization in Deva with a lot of valuable pieces. The six iron objects were handed over by the senior advisor of the Hunedoara County Directorate for Culture Angelica Băloson October 15, 2013. The finder, Mr. Popa Dorin, said they came from the area of Ursici, Boşorod Village, Hunedoara County(1) and Romoşel, Romos Village, Hunedoara County. The minutes also state that the objects were discovered “with a personal metal detector” (2).

As has happened in other cases, in the mountains near the capital of the Dacian Kingdom and practically all over Romania, against the background of legislative incoherence, but also the inability of the judiciary system to stop this phenomenon, archaeological poaching brought to light artifacts rarely encountered in archaeological discoveries. Those who arrogate their title of “amateur archaeologists” have destroyed many contexts, being punished rarely and only for the crime of stealing objects and not for destroying the contexts from which they were extracted.(3)

Given the conditions of discovery, a source of information for reconstituting the context of discovery is the minutes by which the objects were received, even if the details must be accepted with some restraint. As is apparent from the minutes, the pieces come from two different localities, being discovered by the same person, Mr Popa Dorin.

With regard to the batch of five objects from Ursici, from the beginning it can be seen that they come from one or more places with the same geological structure. The oxides that covered all these objects were small and pebbled. As far as their grouping is concerned, we can rely only on what the discoverer reported, including the details regarding the trip to the Ursici.

The author of the discovery, who proved his good intentions by handing over to the Hunedoara County Directorate for Culture the lot of found objects, has agreed to accompany us to the field to show us the exact location of the discovery. The explorationtook place in November 2013 after obtaining the Field Assessment Authorization, with Cristina Bodó and Iosif Ferencz, from MCDR and Angelica Bălos, from the Directorate.

Place of discovery

The village of Ursici is located in the western extremity of Bosorod Village, occupying the high plateaus of the Şureanu Mountains, in the contact area with the Streiului Valley, and implicitly with the Hateg Depression (Pl.I).
We were led into a pasture/grassland (Pl. I/1, Pl.II/2) owned by Muntean Viorel of Ursici, no.20, where you could see a pit covered not long ago (Pl.II/2). Citizen Popa Dorin assured us that two of the objects discovered, namely a curved sword and a rapier, were extracted by him from that pit. What’s more, he mentioned that the two weapons were crossed. In connection with where the other objects came from, he was unable to recall exact data, indicating the pasture, where traces of several small pits could be observed.
In these circumstances, we traced and dug a small survey in the place indicated as the provenance of the weapons (Pl.II), trying to recover what was still possible from the information related to the discovery. We have not been able to identify traces of a complex, most likely destroyed when the pieces are extracted. But in the excavated earth there were small pieces of an iron object that matched the broken part of the sword. In addition, the soil contains pebbles and mica, being similar to the structure of oxides on the surface of artifacts handed over to the museum in Deva (4).
The place of origin of this lot of objects, as presented by the citizen Popa Dorin, is known in the archaeological literature as one in which archaeological materials were identified on other occasions, but according to the data of the County Directorate for Culture Hunedoara, the area of the discoveries in question was not delimited, before this moment in time, as a site.
In the “hamlet”/ The Mesteacan point (5) in the village of Ursici, the commune of Bosorod, in the gardens of Viorel Munteanu and Ion Coman Ciucurescu were discovered Dacian ceramic fragments and a grinder made of volcanic tufa (6).

As for the lot of pieces handed over to the Museum of Deva, it is composed of:
1. Curved Sword (Pl.III)
It was made out of iron band, by forging. The tip is sharp and the blade profile is triangular. At the opposite end of the tip is the gauntlet rod, which gradually narrows. You can easily see the traces of the operation by which the original blade was narrowed in the handle area.

The handle was probably made out of wood, as traces of wood fibers fixed in the oxide layer could still be seen before the restoration. Arivet fixed close to the guard can still be observed (Pl.III/2). On one side there isa slightly embossed nervurelocated exactly where the blade begins to narrow whichprobably marks the guard (Pl.III/2).

Towards the tip, on a portion of approx. 17cm, the blade was sharp on both sides (Pl.III/3). No decoration marks or other marks are observed on the blade.
Dating: sec. I p.Chr., maybe in the second half of the century.

The piece has the following dimensions: maximum length: 65cm; length of the gauntlet rod (up to guard): 13cm; blade length: 52cm; maximum width: 2.85cm, guard width: 2.79cm; rivet length: 2.8cm; mass: 460gr.

2. Straight Sword (Pl.IV)
The blade is sharp on both edges and at the tip. In the guard area it was broken, most likely during the extraction from the ground. The gauntlet rod has a rectangular profile and is slightly bent at the end. Traces of oxides were visible on the surface of the blade and traces of wood fibres appeared to be visible. Even after restoration, no ornaments are observed.
Dating: sec I pChr.
The piece has the following dimensions: maximum length: 87.3cm; length of the tang rod (up to guard): 19,3cm; blade length: 68cm; max width: 3.06cm; retained guard width: 2.88cm; Probable guard width: approx. 3.4cm; mass: 430gr.
3. Sword blade (Pl.V)

A fragment of a fragmentary blade, slightly curved. It could stem from a tool (saw?)(7) or more likely from a curved sword. It’s sharp at the top, and on the opposite side it’s sectionedfrom ancient times. The traces of this operation can easily be observed. The blade has a triangular profile, and at the top it is rounded. On one side, a sign in the shape of concentric circles is easy to observe. Probable date: sec. I p.Chr., maybe in the second half of that century.
4. Hoe(Pl.VI)
Made out of iron, it has a rounded active side, and the opposite side, the edge, is massive and has a quadrilateral shape. There was still soil in the hoe socketat the time of surrender. The piece has the following dimensions: maximum length: 17,8cm; maximum width: 6.7cm; Minimum width: 3cm.

5. Hoe(Pl.VII)

Made out of iron, it has the right sideactive, and the opposite side, the edge, is massive, quadrilateral in shape. There was still soil in the hoe socketat the time of surrender. In the area of the hoe collar the piece appears to have been deformed, perhaps at the time of the introduction of the shaft. The piece has the following dimensions: maximum length: 19.2cm; maximum width: 8.7cm; Minimum width: 3cm.

Both parts fall into type II, variant b of the typology made by I.Glodariu and E.Iaroslavschi, dated in the sec. I p.Chr.8. Similar objects have also been discovered at Grădiştea de Munte– Sarmizegetusa Regia, White Faces, The Wide Valley and at Strâmbu(9), all in the Orăştie Mountains.

Analysis of the discovery

As mentioned above, the area of provenance of the lot of objects from Ursici, as presented by the citizen Popa Dorin, is known in the archaeological literature as one in which archaeological materials have been identified on other occasions.

One of the observations we were able to make on objects entered into the collections of the Devean museum was that on the surface of some of the pieces there were traces of wooden fibres, perhaps coming from the handle of the sword, in one of the cases, or from the sheath, in the case of the sword.

About the two hoes, we can say that such objects are ordinary presences in Dacian warehouses discovered on various occasions in the area of the capital of the Dacian Kingdom and beyond it(10).

But the ones that stand out are weapons, be they whole or fragmentary. On the one hand, the curved sword and fragment belonging to another weapon(11)of the same type are part of a series as yet limited in number of discoveries. This type of weapon appears represented on monuments, or in the iconography of Roman numismatic pieces, with reference to the Dacians or the Dacian campaigns of Trajan(12).

In all likelihood, the curved sword, the falx, appears during the 1st century p.Chr.(13), became known in antiquity as a weapon specific to the Dacians(14). As mentioned above, there are few such known weapons from the discoveries; in addition, in extremely few cases we have clear information on the context.

Recently, Cătălin Borangic indexed this type of pieces, finding that it is generally “a medium to large weapon”, with a total length between 0.70–1m, triangular blade in section, with a curvature finished in a sharp tip(15).

Such pieces were reported at the Mountain Garden – Sarmizegetusa Regia(16), Cristesti(17), Divici(18), Viscri(19).

From the Mountain Garden – Sarmizegetusa Regia come several pieces, whole or fragmentary: a curved sword was discovered in one of the iron-pieces warehouses on the 8th terrace(20), a piece in the quadrangle dwelling searched on the „Platoul cu şaseterase” at Tău(21). To these are added a fragment of falx, discovered during research that concerned the area in which the bronze mould was discovered: a part of the tang having two iron rivets and one segment of the blade(22) is preserved. A more recently discovered piece, it seems, in the civil settlement (probably by treasure hunters), is found in the custody of the National Museum of History of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca(23). At the same time, in various catalogues the blade of a curved sword can be found in the heritage of MNIR – it is a piece discovered in 1952–1954 at the Mountain Garden – Sarmizegetusa Regia, which entered the custody of MNIR in 1971, received from the Vasile Pârvan Institute of Archaeology(24).

Some of the pieces indexed by C.Borangic, as even the author notes(25), can be considered uncertain. This is also the case of the piece seen in the fair at Alba Iulia(26), the fragments of the weapon located at the Arad Museum Complex(27), or the “possible” fragment of falx from Tilişca(28). If those artifacts or some of them could be authentic, the contexts from which they come must be considered uncertain.

On one of the two sides of the blade fragment, presented by us at No.3 in the catalogue (Pl.V/1,3), a sign made in the form of concentric circles is observed. The motif of the concentric circle is found in many cases on the blade of curved knives (sica)(29) and swords with curved blade (falx)(30), or on the blades of some lances(31), being interpreted as a solar symbol(32). They are sometimes found on the handles of knives, such as the Corcova piece, considered to be the most elaborate piece in the North Thracian area(33). In that case, the symbol applied to the metal support was integrated into a decoration reminiscent of the chained “S”, so common to Celtic art(34). The same decoration element is also present on objects made out of hard materials of animal origin(35), or on some construction materials made of iron(36).

Stamped circles are also present on a number of tools discovered in the Orăştie Mountains: on some of the axes within the warehouse at Piatra Roşie(37), on a chisel coming from the GrădişteaMuncelului, from the large limestone temple on the 11th terrace(38). Also pertaining tot he category of signs on iron objects we also remember the rectangle-shaped one on the fragmentary edge of an axe discovered in the same place(39). And just as interesting are the sign in the form of “fig twigs”(40) times the one in the form of “bowor pliers”(41), from the Piatra Roşie. These signs, especially those present on the tools, may be the marks of craftsmen or workshops(42).

Another aspect that drew our attention is the fact that on a portion (with a length of 17cm) the blade was sharpened on both sides. The same situation is found in the case of the sword discovered on one of the terraces of the Plateau with six terraces at Sarmizegetusa Regia(43), as well as in the case of the weapon from Cristeşti(44). This situation also gives us some indications regarding the use and effectiveness of this type of weapon. The replica of the sword was easily used one-handedly by a reenactor, and a recent analysis(45) showed that this type of weapon could be used for both stabbing and striking actions, the long handle and the shape of the weapon allows the shield to be bypassed so that the vital areas at the top of the opponent’s body can be endangered. The results of the experiments showed that such a weapon was used by the infantry on the front line, its efficiency being high in close combat(46).

The sword (spatha), slender and long, by form and size is specific to the Germanic world, but it also “makes a career” in the Roman army, being successfully used by cavalry troops. In the Roman army it was used by cavalrymen against infantry(47). Few specimens have been kept since the beginning of the Principality. More well-known are those of Newsteed(48) and Camelon(49) in Britain, as well as the one from Rottweil, in Germany(50), dated in the 1st century BC. This type of weapon, imported from roman space, is frequently part of the burial deposits of the Przeworsk culture, and is widespread in tombs dated to phase B2 of this culture(51). During phases B1 and B2 are present in tombs and swords with an edge derived from an older tradition(52).

A good analogy for the copy illustrated by us is also the sword in tomb No.2 at Chojne, Poland(53), classified as “Newsteed” or type I of swords in the Przeworsk culture (54)environment. Weapons of this type come from complexes also dated in the sec. I p.Chr(55). Among the later discoveries, but which typologically come close tothe copy of the Ursici, we mention a sword from Căşeiudated in the 3rd century p.Chr.(56) This illustrates the evolution over time, over a wide area of this type of weapon, the appearance of which marked an important moment in the evolution and adaptation of Roman weaponry.(57)

Given the chronological frame of the analogies presented, we believe that the sword from Ursici could most likely be dated in the 1st century BC. We do not think we can propose a more precise date at this stage of the research, due to the lack of context of the discovery. And its provenance must be sought rather in the Germanic cultural environment than in the Roman one.

The presence of objects from other cultural backgrounds in southwestern Romania is not unique, as external influences in many areas of life can be observed. A series of pieces from the Hellenistic and Roman(58) world, but also from spaces inhabited by the Celts(59) are frequently found among the discoveries in this area. In the same fashion, it is possible to demonstrate the taking over of working techniques from the Greco-Roman or Celtic(60) world, and the presence in Dacia of specialized craftsmen from the Greco-Roman world(61).

Other series of objects have a geographical area of use covering territories spread over great distances and, at the same time, inhabited by diverse populations. This is the case, for example, of sanded bracelets of the Type ŞimleulSilvaniei (type 3 in the system proposed by Aurel Rustoiu(62)). Floors of this kind are found in large numbers in the Germanic environment of the Tyniec group and in discoveries belonging to the Przeworsk culture in Poland(63). The contexts of these pieces of ornament are dated in the 1st century BC(64).

And in terms of weapons parts, they know specimens spread over large spaces. Among other things, the presence of some types of weapons parts designated as “Balkan weapons” can be observed. Within this category, the umbos discovered in archaeological contexts of south-eastern Europe are classified in a category called “BalkanischeSchildbuckel”. The chronological range in which shields with central metal elements of this kind are used is a broad one, encompassing the period Lt C2, Lt D1 and reaching, in the case of discoveries, also in the first century of the Christian era(66). The Polish researcher noted that the most numerous pieces in this category are grouped in the territory of today’s Romania, as well as in the Slovenian space(67). It also assumed that specimens in remote areas could be attributed to the mobility of warriors(68).

Finally, it should also be mentioned that other objects specific to the Germanic world have been found in the area on various occasions. Thus, in the Merisor Pass, in the part towards Crivadia, an umbo of shield specific to the Przeworskculture(69)was found, dated in the sec. I p.Chr., and in the OrăştieMountains, in the area of Costesti–Târsa, the point of the Pârâul Gemenilor(or Şesul Ciorii – Pârâul Gemenilor) a single-edged Germanic sword (sax)(70)was reported.

As mentioned above, the data on the context of the discovery has only discoverer’s statement as a source.

With regards to the association of two such weapons in archaeological sites, it should be noted that there are still such cases. For example, in a mound at Kaloz (Republic of Hungary), discoverers mention among other artifacts that were part of the burial inventory a “sica”(71). According to the dimensions mentioned by the authors (length 55cm, when the piece was fragmentary) we think we are more likely to be dealing with a curved sword. But what has piqued our interest is that the curved weapon is associated with a long sword and “Germanic” shield umbos. In this case the tomb is a double, belonging to two warriors and also retains a skeleton of horse(72). The three bodies suggest in the case of the tomb of Kaloz the presence of a rider and a pedestal (or a knight and a “henchman”).

Curved knives with unusually large dimensions like the one in the Tomb at Kaloz are known from other discoveries. One such piece which served as a“large-scale sica” is known from Neudorf – Red Creek, Jud. Arad(73). Curved weapons with lengths up to 50cm are also present in funeral inventories at Mala Kopanya in Ukraine(74). In a recent study of curved knives from Dacian tombs north of the Danube, the authors consider specimens generally between 25 and 35cm in length as daggers, accepting that there are exceptions(75). The longest of these are in Type C, where those with lengths of 30–40cm are included, but it is also mentioned that longer specimens are found, without specifying how long(76).

The tomb at Kaloz dates back to the first half of the century. II p.Chr.77(77), so do we think the tomb of Viscri(78) is dating way back. The mention of the discovery at Viscri is important precisely because of the association, as in Kaloz, in a tumulary tomb, also specific to the roman era, of some Germanic weapons and a curved sword(79).

The two tombs dated to the period of the Roman rule seem to represent the way in which some exponents of the local elites chose to express themselves when it came to funerals(80).

Weighing the two weapons, sword and rapier, I noticed that their mass is similar (0.460kg sword and 0.430kg rapier respectively). This observation might suggest a preference of the owner, who could choose his weapon depending on the way he was going to fight.

Dr. Marius Barbu, an archaeologist specializing in experimental archaeology techniques, made a copy of these weapons, proposing gauntlet-covering solutions (Fig.1). Based on the preserved dimensions, the steel blades of the resulting parts have masses similar to the original ones(81). In the case of the gauntlet-covering solution proposed by the specialist, the difference in mass between the two increases in favour of the curved sword(82). These differences, which may have characterized the original specimens, we believe can be attributed to the different way of fighting with each of the two.

As for the condition of the parts, we note that there are no signs of intentional destruction. At the same time, it can be observed that in the case of deposits of weapons from the Dacian world (few in the context of worship(83)), the intentional deterioration of the parts is not mandatory, as indicated by the situation in Contesti, com. Davidesti (jud. Arges)(84), Lozna, com. Dersca (Jud. Botoşani)(85), Pietroasa Mică – Gruiu Darei (jud. Buzău)(86). However, the conditions for the discovery of Ursici objects prevent any argued  consideration as to the nature of the deposition, since the context could not be analysed, as the condition of the parts wasnot sufficient for such conclusions.

Although it would be tempting to somehow link the discovery at the Ursici to Dio Cassius’s words about the Germanic buries, allies of Decebal(87), we do not want to enter into a broader discussion on the interpretation of the discovery. This is primarily due to the high degree of uncertainty about the real context in which the pieces were found. Our main objective for this moment was to signal this discovery which, even in these conditions, brings some information on the armaments used by the Dacian warriors in the era before the Roman conquest.



Thank you to Dr. Aurel Rustoiu (Institute of Archaeology and Art History Cluj-Napoca) and Dr. Marius Gheorghe Barbu (Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization Deva) for support, bibliography and advice particularly useful for understanding the subject.


1. The spearhead coming from Romosel will be presented on another occasion.
2. Minutes No.5613 of 15.10.2013
3. Similar opinions have been expressed on various occasions by other archaeologists: see for example Borangic, Ciuta 2014, p.416, 418, 421, 423; or Rustoiu 2016, p.75. Recently, Aurel Rustoiu highlighted some of the irretrievably lost information of some famous archaeological contexts, in Rustoiu 2016, p.75, especially grades 6 and 7. At the same time, we must also note the high degree of uncertainty of the “information” provided by these “amateur archaeologists”, who fail to replace the observations that would have resulted from professional documentation.
4. The discovery of a fragment belonging to the sword shows that at least one of the two weapons came from that place. It is not excluded that both pieces were discovered in the same context, and the finder’s assertion that they were crossed is interesting may be an important observation, but it cannot be proven.
5. According to the website of Bosorod Town Hall, it is the toponym of a group of houses in the village of Ursici – http://www.comunabosorod.ro/?Localizare_si_Acces, accessed on February 6, 2017.
6. Tatu 1994, p. 199; Tatu et al. 1988–1991, p.102, Gheorghiu 2005, p.49.
7. But its shape is different from the seams known to us. See for example Glodariu, Yaroslavschi 1979, fig.33/3.5–7
8. Glodariu, Yaroslavschi 1979, p.68–69, fig.27/1–5, 7–8.
9. Glodarius, Yaroslavschi 1979, p.68–69.
10. Glodariu, Yaroslavschi 1979, p.67–71.
11. We believe that the piece described in No.3 and illustrated in Pl.5 is most likely a fragment of the blade of a curved sword.
12. Borangic 2006, p.63–82; Rustoiu 2007, p.72.
13. Rustoiu 2007, p.72.
14. Glodariu, Yaroslavschi 1979, p.137.
15. Borangic 2009, p.49–52; Borangic 2015, p.174–200.
16. Daicoviciu et al. 1953, p.169, fig.2/a; Daicoviciu et al. 1957, p.259; Glodarius, Yaroslavschi 1979, p.137–138; Borangic 2009, p.49–51; Hent 2014, p.110–111; Florea 2015, p.18, pl.15/17.
17. Borangic 2009, p.49; Borangic 2015 p.191–192.
18. Borangic 2013, p.126–128.
19. The discovery in the 19th century at Viscri aroused the interest of researchers during the 20th century (see bibliography at Borangic 2015, p.198).
20. Daicoviciu et al. 1953, p.169, pl.22/a.
21. Daicoviciu et al. 1957, p.256, 259; Glodariu, Yaroslavschi 1979, p.137–138, fig.71/1; Hent 2014, p.110–111.
22. Florea 2015, p.18, pl.15/17.
23. Information presented during communication at the scientific symposium anniversary Museum at 65 years old – eternally young, Zalau, 6–7 October 2016 by D. Cioata, A.Hent, R. Mateescu, Weapons and pieces of military equipment in the area of the Orastia Mountains.
24. Borangic 2015, p.183–185; Borangic, Bsaidcu 2014, p.77, pl. XLVIII. In the archaeological research reports published at that time there is mentioned only one curved sword: the one in the warehouse on Terrace VIII (Daicoviciu et al. 1953, p.169, fig.2/a).
25. Borangic 2015, p.184–186.
26. Borangic 2009, p.49, fig.2/1; Borangic 2015, p.185–186.
27. Borangic 2009, p.50 – among other things, it is mentioned that it was found at the root of a fir tree on the fourth terrace of Sarmizegetusa Regia; this is one of the terraces inside the current fortification, occupied by a forest of secular beech trees and on which there are no trees.
28. Borangic 2015, p.198–199.
29. Rustoiu 2002, p.60; Rustoiu 2007, p.70; Sîrbu, Borangic 2016a, p.51–52, fig.12.
30. Glodariu, Yaroslavschi 1979: p.137–138, fig.71/1.
31. As is the case with the one discovered in Živovči, Bulgaria, see Rustoiu 2002, p.205, Fig.41/1.
32. Rustoiu 2002, p.60; Rustoiu 2007, p.70.
33. Rustoiu 2002, p.59.
34. Rustoiu, Sîrbu 1999, p.12; Rustoiu 2002, p.59.
35. Sîrbu et al. 2007, p.25, fig.35; Ferencz, Dima 2009, p.21,24–25, fig.3/2; Ferencz 2010c, p.79–80, Pl.II/1–4; Ferencz, Gurgu-Târdoiu 2009, p.161–162, Pl.II/1–2; Ferencz, Beldiman 2012, p.76,228, Pl.1, Pl.2, Pl.3, Pl.4; Beldiman et al. 2013a, p.41, Fig.4–8; Beldiman et al. 2013b, p.116–117, Pl.II-X; Beldiman et al. 2013c, p.749–750, Fig.4–7.
36. Gheorghiu 2005, Fig.175/9.
37. Sîrbu, Ceriser, John 2005, p.10–12, no.2–4,6,8.
38. Yaroslavschi 1983, p.373, pl.1/1.
39. Yaroslavschi 1983, p.373, pl.2/2.
40. Sîrbu, Ceriser, John 2005, p.11, no.5.
41. Sîrbu, Ceriser, John 2005, p.11, no.6.
42. Florea 2011, p.137.
43. Hent 2014, p.111.
44. Borangic 2015, p.191.
45. Barbu, Borangic 2016.
46 Barbu, Borangic 2016.
47. Bishop, Coulston 1993, p.71–74.
48. Bishop, Coulston 1993, p.71.74, fig.36/2 (622 mm and 635 mm long, 30 and 35 mm wide).
49. Bishop, Coulston 1993, p.71.74, fig.36/5.
50. Bishop, Coulston 1993, p.71.74, fig.36/6. This specimen has dimensions and shape very close to those of the bear copy (865mm long and 44mm wide).
51. Andrejowski 2010, p.12, Kontny 2008, p.121.
52. Andrejowski 2010, p.12. Przeworsk culture developed as a result of the adoption by the local population in the southern and southwestern areas of today’s Poland of the La Tène models. Other external factors may have participated in this process, such as the transit of the same territories by the bastards and spiri in the 3rd century BC: Andrejowski 2010, p.2. Regarding the absolute chronology of this culture, see: Kontny 2004, p.216, or Bochnak, Urman 2016, p.284, fig.10.
53. Biborski 1999, fig.15/e.
54. Biborski 1999, p.100.
55. Biborski 1999, p.100.
56. 75cm blade length and 16.5cm handle rod, 3cm blade width: at Isac 2006, p.444–446, p.453.
57. February 2002, p.115.
58. Glodariu 1974; Florea1990–1993; Gheorghiu 2001; Gheorghiu 2004, p.165–174; Gheorghiu 2005, p.175,167–171; Rustoiu 2005; Gheorghiu, Crişan 2010; Mustache and others 2014; Ferencz 2005; Ferencz 2010a; Ferencz 2010b; Florea 2015; Mustache, Ferencz 2016 etc.
59. Ferencz 1998; Rustoiu 1999; Ferencz 2012; Ferencz 2013, p.168–169, No.10–11, Pl.V; Dragan 2014.
60. Florea 1998, passim; Gheorghiu 2000, p.214–217; Gheorghiu 2001, p.189–198, Gheorghiu, Crişan 2010, p.132–140.
61. Florea 2015, p.141–145; Bodó 2015, p.465–497.
62. Rustoiu 2006, p.95–97.
63. Rudnicki, Sławomir 2011.
64. Rudnicki, Sławomir 2011, p.121–138.
65. Łuczkiewicz 1998: p.253–267.
66. Łuczkiewicz 1998, p.259.
67. Łuczkiewicz 1998: p.259, see map illustrated on page 263, in Fig.10.
68. Łuczkiewicz 1998: 265. I.V.Ferencz and C.Dima assumed that the spread of those types of pieces may also have been a consequence of Burebista’s western campaigns or cultural contacts: Ferencz, Dima 2009, p.23.
69. Opreanu, Aicu 2006, p.491–492, fig.2.
70. Daicoviciu 1964, pl. III/5; I Daci 1979, p.52, pt.124; Glodariu, Yaroslavschi 1979, p.138, pl.71/4; Daicoviciu, Ferenczi, Glodariu 1989, p.186.
71. Palágyi, Nagy 2002, p.88, Pl.V/13.
72. Palágyi, Nagy 2002, p.14.86–88.
73. The specimen, 52cm long, although modified by its discoverer, is an original piece, see Sava, Ardelean 2010, p.24–27.
74. Kotigorosko 2009, p.17. In the text, in p.17 they are designated as “Dacian knives”, and in the explanation of Figure 13, consider those weapons to be “Dacian Falx”. Subsequently, the same author describes all the curved knives discovered at Mala Kopanya in Chapter 2.2, entitled “Sicae”: Kotigorosko 2015, p.114–116. In the beginning of this chapter brings some terminological clarifications, considering that the curved weapons were called by the Dacians “sica”, while the Romans called them “falx”: Kotigorosko 2015, p.114. As far as we are concerned, we are not convinced by the arguments made by the author to prove his claim. Moreover, Kotigorosko is of the opinion that this type of weapon “was made in two variants: for one hand (50–70cm) and two hands (up to 100cm).” – Kotigorosko 2015, p.114, even if it does not illustrate such long specimens. Moreover, on the next page, the typology he proposes contradicts: Kotigorosko 2015, p.115.
75. Sîrbu, Borangic 2016b, p.336.
76. Sîrbu, Borangic 2016b, p.337.
77. Palágyi, Nagy 2002, p.86.
78. Borangic 2015, p.189.
79. The Tombs of Kaloz were originally published by I.Bona: Bona 1955. The author assumed on that occasion that the tomb with “sica” is probably of a Dacian warrior from Slovakia Bona 1955, p.72. (Thanks to colleague Aurel Rustoiu for reporting the bibliography on the Kaloz discoveries and for the courtesy of the guidance).
80. Egri 2012.
81. Respectively 570 g., for the curved sword and 530 g., for the straight sword, which shows in each of the two cases a difference of approx. 100 grams more than the originals.
82. 830g falx with handle / 690g spatha with handle.
83. Bodó 2010, p.84–85.
84. Fox, Popescu 1976, p.217–226, fig.1–6.
85. Teodor, Shadurschi 1978, p.121–140; Theodore 1989, p.68–72.
86. Sîrbu, Matei, Dupoi 2005, p.25.
87. Cassius Dio, LXVIII,8.1.


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Fig. 1 – Copies of weapons made by dr. Marius Barbu

[[center]]Pl.I 1. – Location of the area with Dacian discoveries (delimitation by A.Balos); 2. – Location of Ursici between the main localities with Dacian discoveries in the area (graphics I.V.Ferencz).


Pl.II. 1. – Survey carried out on the site indicated by the discoverer as the place where he found the two weapons; 2. – The place indicated by the discovery as the place of the pit where he found the falx and sword


Pl.III 1. – Falx Curve Sword (Drawing by D.Pantea); 2. Detail with grip rivet and guard; 3. Blade detail with the tip of the weapon; 4. Sword curve falx overview; (2-4 Photo I.V.Ferencz)


Pl.IV – 1. Detail with guard and gauntlet rod; 2. Straight sword spatha (Drawing by D.Pantea); 3. Spatha spade (1,3. I.V.Ferencz)


Pl.V. 1-2. Fragment of blade of falx sword (?) (2-4 (Photo I.V.Ferencz); 3. Detail with the sign on one side (drawing of D.Pantea); 4. Fragment of blade of sword falx (?) general view (drawing of D.Pantea)


Pl.VI – 1. Iron dig (drawing of D.Pantea); 2. Iron dig – side view; 3. Iron dig – top view; (2-3 Photo I.V.Ferencz)


Pl.VII – 1. Iron dig (drawing of D.Pantea); 2. Iron dig – side view; 3. Iron dig – top view; (2-3 Photo I.V.Ferencz)


Weapons from Ursici, Commune Bosorod, Hunedoara County

Few archaeological pieces had been integrated on the Roman and Dacian Civilization museum in Deva in the Autumn of 2013. The author of the discovery, mr. Popa Dorin, an “treasure hunter” declared that he discovered them on the territory of the Ursici village, a small locality on the mountaineer area, in Hunedoara county, close to the Dacian fortresses on the City Mountains.

There are some tools (two hoes), but also some weapons (two curved swords – of the type of the so called falx, and one sword having two bezels – of the type so called spatha). Even if the two preserved in totality weapons are coming from compromises contexts, it could be possible to have been found together on the same pit. We could not say anything about the character of the discovery but the pieces complete the information about the Dacian weapony during the first Century A.D.