Pegging started in history before nails. Even when nails came along, they were expensive, and were infrequently used. (As recently as a few decades ago, a kid could make reasonable money recovering square nails from old fence posts.)
Advocates of nail-free construction observe that in many situations peg construction is better than using nails. One reason given is that pegs and the other wood expand and contract at similar rates. Ancient Russian buildings and US Amish buildings are given as examples in the appended URL.
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