No piece of land knows which flag it is flying or the nation that flag represents. Putting name flags on soil is a matter of convenience, so we can find one another, and state where we are from. Place names, sprayed on maps, street corners and garden gates, like graffiti, lets history know who has passed this way, but they are not etched in stone. Landlords, as they arrive, mark their territory not by leaving scent on a tree, but by changing the title of the ground the tree stands on. If you assemble a chronological series of maps of a region and lay them one on top of another, like layers of paint on an old piece of furniture, you can track the changes of address. Today it is possible to pin-point any home in four short lines, a number on a road, a town, a province, a country; that’s all it takes. Beneath that bland formula, scribbled on an envelope, is the history of that plot of land.
From Jenkins, P. (2001). An acre of time. New York : Paperback. p. 69.