In 1943, the first Jewish agricultural settlement was established in the Negev, Kibbutz Gevulot. David Ben-Gurion believed that the Negev -- encompassing about half the land mass of Israel -- was the fledging country's great frontier. Though the Negev was virtually uninhabited and thought by many to be uncultivable, Ben-Gurion believed that the desert could be tamed and turned into an asset. Many agricultural innovations, such as the use of hydroponics, have been developed in order to cultivate the Negev. And today, Beersheba -- first known as the biblical watering hole for Abraham's sheep -- is a modern city of 190,000.