The Kinneret has been valued for as long as humans have inhabited the area. The earliest human remains found in Israel were excavated nearby, and the many artifacts of ancient civilizations discovered in the area attest to its importance as a center of civilizations throughout the course of history. It is located in the Jordan Rift Valley, where the African and Arabian plates meet. The Egyptian Via Maris, the passageway from Egypt to its Northern Kingdoms, passed by. The lake is mentioned in the Old Testament (in the Books of Numbers and Joshua) as the Kinneret - it is believed that the name is derived from the Hebrew word for harp, a "kinor" - Hebrew for the Sea of Galilee - as if it were the name of their long-lost love.
Here, there has always been a Jewish presence for over 2000 years.When Jews were expelled from Jerusalem by the Romans, many fled to the area around the Kinneret, building up the fledging town of Tiberias. This population included a large number of the great rabbis of the times who wrote the Jerusalem Talmud while sitting along the shores of the Kinneret, referring to it in the Talmud as the Sea of Tiberias. Tiberias continued to maintain a small Jewish community throughout the centuries, and when Jewish settlement was revived in Israel in the late 1800s, the area around Lake Kinneret was one of the first places that the Zionist movement began agricultural endeavors in Israel. The first kibbutzim, communal settlements, were established along the lake's shores.