Mysterious Wooden Artifact

Mysterious Wooden Artifact


1/18/2022 | Mark Hanson, Curator

Occasionally a mystery emerges from the collections, like this artifact. It does not appear to have an artifact number, so we cannot track it in our system. However, a bigger problem is we do not know what it is or what its function was.

We researched flax fiber processing and broom making, based on other artifacts in our collection, but can find nothing quite like this. The artifact does not appear to be a woodworking or saddle making tool either.

This artifact is made of wood. The uprights insert into mortises with wooden pegs driven through the side of the table. Through-holes accept the legs and wedges hold them in place. The only metal is a couple of nails driven in to tighten the wedges. The uprights are rounded and tapered with a rectangular mortise through the end.

Do you know what this artifact is and what it was used for? If you have any ideas or questions, please email me at