For legal scholars, the evolution of property rights has been a topic in search of a theory. My aim here is to draw together various accounts (some of them largely neglected in the legal literature), from dated to modern, and suggest a way they can be melded into a plausible explanation of property's genesis and early development. What results hardly amounts to a theory, but it does suggest an outline for one. Moreover, it provides a primer on the subject, a reasonably solid foundation for thinking and talking about the evolution of property rights.
Krier, James E. "Evolutionary Theory and the Origin of Property Rights." Cornell L. Rev. 95, no. 1 (2009): 139-59.