The dovetail is one of the most integral parts of furniture construction. The word dovetail dates back to the 16th century. It's from dove (n.) + tail. So called from resemblance of shape in the tenon or mortise of the joints to that of the bird's tailfeather display.
The dovetail dates back to the Egyptians of the First Dynasty(3000 to 2800 BCE) and was used for entombed royalty and wealthy nobles with handcrafted furniture using the dovetail joint.
Archaeological finds in Chinese Emperor tombs dating BCE also reveal the dovetail joint in use in this oldest of existing cultures.