The silver lioness was discovered by chance in the '40s in the area known as „Pietroasa lui Solomon”, near the Fortress of Blidaru. Not without significance, in the same area were discovered, on some artificial terraces, stone column bases belonging to Dacian temples.
Since the circumstances of the finding as well as it's precise location are unknown, the interpretation of the artefact is a difficult task. It can be dated with a serious approximation, based on the style of the representation and the location where it was found, to the end of the Iron Age.
The lioness is represented in a sitting position with her head turned and her mouth open. The representation technique and some details treated in a decorative style remind of the art from the eastern Mediterranean. It is very likely that the silver piece was imported from somewhere in that region and it was mounted on the iron rod right here in the Dacian Mountains. The silver statuette, marvellously chiselled, was mounted on a 11.7 cm long iron rod. The piece is part of the Dacian and Roman Civilisation Museum collection in Deva.
It’s use is uncertain. Some specialists believe that it is a decorative as well as functional piece - such as a linchpin of a chariot wheel (ceremonial chariot, of course). Some other people consider that it also might have been the hilt of a weapon or the decorated end of a ceremonial staff (sceptre?).
The lion/lioness figure, generally the image of the great felines, is not unusual in the Dacian art during the kingdom period: it appears on the painted ceramics of Sarmizegetusa Regia, on one of the decorated disks of Piatra Roşie as well as on the phalera discovered in the Lupu silver hoard (Alba county).
In many ancient cultures, the lion is associated with sovereignty, with the power and the prestige surrounding the royal authority.
The visual expression of the project for the archaeological site of the Dacian Fortresses in the Orăștie Mountains consists of a logo having the stylized representation of the silver lioness as central element.
The project's logo combines the tradition with the modernity, the history with the contemporaneity, in an elegant yet scientific and accurate expression. The symbol has a strong visual impact and it is completed by the simple logotype, written in serif font that recalls the historical materials and whose readability is highlighted by the capital letters employed. Simplicity dominates the logo's chromatics as well, the white colour's purpose being the logo's highlighting as well as the increase of the retention degree.