Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
An allusion to the Egyptian Khopesh or to Babylonian Sappara has occasionally slithered into collector's /dealer's lingo and is still regularly appears in Russian books. IMHO, any connection is improbable: both of the above were in use literally thousands of years ago in particular locations and nothing similar appeared since till the ~mid-19 century in a place far away from both of those ancient civilizations, in a very small ethnic group in a tiny location ( yes, I know, Christian Greeks from the same area also used it).
Who on Earth had a brilliantly-delusional idea to combine features of Algerean Flissa and Ottoman Yataghan and to add to it a distinctive forked pommel, is a mystery. But the survival time of Laz Bichaqs was short: they vanished at the most after 50-70 years of their existence. Transition to firearms did not help, of course, but the sheer impracticality of that design was likely a decisive factor. After all, Caucasian kindjals of similarly peculiar appearance ( Gurian, for example) continued to be used in Georgia, Turkey (next to Laz Bichaqs) and even became a regulation weapon of the Black Sea Cossack Host. They were engineeringly sound, unlike Laz Bichaqs.
It's like the mule: a crossbreed of a horse and an ass, that is unable to reproduce. There are limits to the viability of evolutionary process and failed progeny is mercilessly eliminated.