Lessons From Karal (I)

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Pablo Edronkin

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The real estate business is probably one of the oldest in human existence and it is here to stay; regrettably, wars are here to stay too, most of the times provoked by territorial disputes despite that archaeology proved that things could have evolved otherwise.

The concept of real estate as we currently understand it is based on the almost instinctive notion of territoriality. Who hasn't seen dongs and cats peeing on trees, wheels and so on? Well, despite taxes, mortgages, loans, documents and all the modern stuff that define our idea of real estate, pets already have one indeed.

The only difference is that we humans, after peeing on everybody else's trees began to have arguments and then squared things off with bows, arrows, catapults and firearms. So it became necessary to establish some sort of regulations in the matter that, conveniently for politicians, also meant cashing-in property taxes.

Today we have a highly speculative property "system" that in reality works for some better than others in order to suck money for decades by inflating land prices and thus, making it impossible to pay anything just at once. So mortgages come into the scene and people are kept paying for decades. This is, as I said, largely artificial: In Ireland, for example, properties that in 2005 reached a million euros could be bought ten years before for less than a tenth of that… how come?

But it needn't be so… as archaeologists now suggest.

In a place called Zawi Chemi, in northern Iraq, many years ago a group of archaeologists found a small urban centre formed by a number of round huts built with small stones taking from a nearby mountain river known as Zab. That particular settlement is about ten thousand years old, and in a nearby place known as Shanidar, there is evidence of nomadic occupation for about one hundred thousand years back in time.

Something similar happens in the case of Jericho, the biblical city that has also been found; but this Canaanite city is much more older than what is described in the Old Testament: the first ruins of Jericho, at the deepest archaeological level have been dated using the radio carbon method as about 10.000 years old too. So, selling, buying and renting properties and real estate has always been a good business indeed.

Totemic value? A way to scare off people.
Totemic value? A way to scare off people.

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