Strange Artifacts

Weird Implements, Odd Tools and Mysterious What Nots

Everybody's got a few strange artifacts stuffed into a box in the basement, or cluttering up the garage, and they defy explanation as to what they are, or their original use.


Many of them are made from other objects for a particular purpose, long forgotten.

Some of these strange artifacts are handed down in a family, with a story about their use, and some history of who made it and for whom.

These are the ones I find interesting, especially if they’re handmade and show it. The more rustic, the happier I am. Some of these odd looking tools show obvious wear and tear, making you wonder what they could possibly have been used for.

Every town or rural area has a long history of 'making do' with what was available, and recycling was a way of life long before it became fashionable.

There are always going to be those handy types of people who can make anything useful out of old junk, or as we call it today, trash into treasure.

Flax Heckle

When the need was there, they set to, scratched their heads a bit, and came up with the right tool for the job, whether it was to prepare flax into a fiber to spin it, or make a mortar and pestle for grinding up acorns for flour.

The native American Indians were skilled at providing for their families, using any kind of found item or natural material to make the right tools.

Native American tools were fashioned out of antlers, horn, bone or wood and even stone, and strapped together with sinew. What a challenge, if we had to do that today.

Creating salvaged art means we have access to some weird implements – they’ll get made into a unique and unusual feature or art piece. Wouldn’t it be fun to know the real purpose of some of this rustic salvage?

If you have any strange artifacts gathering dust in the attic, or hung on a wall somewhere, post a picture of it, and see if there is any way to identify the original use or even make up a new way to utilize it.

Do you have a Strange Artifact in your basement or garage?

Post a picture, and see if anyone can identify it - your useful unidentified implement could have a purpose; we just don't know what it is.

See more Strange Artifacts below...

Click on the links to see more about the odd and unusual finds from basements, garage sales and thrift stores...

1900-1950s piece mounted on wall  
House was built in 1920s we just moved in and saw this on the wall. Wondering if it's an old gym piece.

Legs? Or a Hanger? 
I found this odd looking thing under the porch of our rental house, hidden from view - obviously someone else was intrigued by it. What would you use it …

Stone Pestle 
Found somewhere east. Haven't found anyone who knows what it is. Can you help?

Solid Brass Whatzit?  
I have had this for close to 20 years or so now, but I have never known what it is or what its purpose was. Its made of solid brass, appears to have …

head statue? 
My friend found this in her yard in Creston Iowa. Its like a statue. Oh, boy. That's very crudely constructed, and looks to be someone just starting …

Unidentified Implement 
Found when cleaning out an old house. Hi Don, that is some weird object alright. So, without a bit more information, it's pretty difficult to determine …

Stone Fig 
Found at a yard sale, terracotta That's a really cool little thing - I've never heard of the name of Stone Fig before, and you haven't really explained …

Lindas Great Haul 
Linda sent me some more pictures of all her great finds at a garage sale from a potting shed. Here's what she told me: "Jacki, Here are a few more …

Not sure what this is. 
I bought out the contents of a potting shed and this was amongst the many treasures. My guess is,it's either a row maker or a rake for a really big Zen …

The Recycled Sprinkler 
I spotted this uniquely refurbished sprinkler in a greenhouse that was being rebuilt. It's a perfect example of someone being really creative - obviously …

Brass Knob 
Another one of those strange things I find when renovating old houses. This is a knob of some kind, and various possibilities have been suggested. Someone …

Giant Comb 
I found this giant comb looking thing in an attic of a house where I was doing renovations. The owner of the house had no clue what it is or that it was …

Interesting Paddles 
I came into ownership of these two obviously handmade paddle type objects when cleaning up a house after the owner died. They are both unique, and …

Mortar and Pestle 
This obviously handmade mortar and pestle was given to a friend of mine when he lived in northern California by a member of the native American Indian …

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