This area was the heartland of Armenians, who lived in these areas from the time of Hayk in the 3rd millennium BCE right up to the late 19th century when the Ottoman Empire seized all the land from the natives. In the 9th century BC the Van area was the center of the Urartian kingdom. The area was a major Armenian population center. The region came under the control of the ArmenianOrontids in the 7th century BC and later Persians in the mid-6th century BC. By the early 2nd century BC it was part of the Kingdom of Armenia. It became an important center during the reign of the Armenian king, Tigranes II, who founded the city of Tigranakert in the 1st century BC. With the Seljuq victory at the Battle of Malazgirt in 1071, just north of Lake Van, it became a part of the Seljuq Empire and later the Ottoman Empire during their century long wars with their neighboring Iranian Safavid arch rivals, in which Selim I managed to conquer the area over the latter. The area continued to be contested and was passed on between the Ottoman Empire and the Safavids (and their subsequent successors, the Afsharids and Qajars) for many centuries afterwards, all the way up to during the 19th century.