When Was Land First Bought and Owned?

In 5000 B.C., the idea of a person owning private property did not exist. People owned tools and houses, but no man owned the land. Since farmers had not yet developed techniques of fertilizing and rotating their crops, soil exhausted quickly and families moved on.

When people learned how to keep nutrients for plants in the soil, farming communities became more stable. Plots of land were measured out and “owned,” and the idea soon developed that land was valuable. So a man who owned land was considered better off than a man who worked it.

Around 3000 B.C., temple-towns developed in Babylonia, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. In a temple-town, all economic matters were centered on the temple, and the land was owned by the gods. Soon after this in Egypt, land was bought and owned by wealthy men.