Gegharkunik Marz, is dominated by Lake Sevan and the watershed of the numerous streams that flow into it and out down the Hrazdan River to the Arax. The Marz also includes the separate basin of the Getik River, which flows N to the Aghstev and joins ultimately the Kura river in Azerbaijan. The Sevan basin is windswept, treeless and austere, but with stunning skies, an ever-changing lake surface, and a rich history. All around the lake are the tumbled stone remains of Bronze and Iron Age fortifications and towns, and little boulder clumps marking vast fields of prehistoric burials with superb burnished pottery. Among of them the most attractive are: the cyclopean fortresses of Metsap and Tsamakaberd near Sevan, Iron Age fort with Urartian occupation and major Bronze Age cemetery as well as an inscription of Arghishti I carved in the rock facing the lake in Lchashen, cyclopean fortress of Heri Dar with a large tomb  and two inhabited caves in Artsvakar as well as Zhami Dar and Mrtbi Dzor fortresses around Noratus, the Early Iron Age fort of Berdi Glukh with large cemetery in Gavar, cyclopean building remains covering an area of 70 hectares near Lanjaghbyur, Kanagegh medieval settlement with khachkars and a cyclopean fortress near Karmirgyugh, Sangyar cyclopean fort occupying 40 hectares near Dzoragyugh, natural bridge in Tsakkar, Ghrer Bronze Age burial site near Lichk, cyclopean fort of Berdi dosh near Nerkin Getashen, Iron Age through medieval Alberd fort in and Berdi Glukh cyclopean fortress near Geghhovit, boulders carved on them faint outline maps of the major constellations, dated to the 3rd millennium BC near Lernahovit, Kyurdi Kogh and Aloyi Kogh cyclopean fort ruins near Vaghashen, cyclopean fort ruins of Vanki Amrots and Iron Age graves near Astghadzor, Urartian city of Teysheba, (modernly Odzaberd or "Serpent Castle") and cuneiform inscription of Rusa I (approx. 735-713 BC) near Tsovinar, Bruti Berd cyclopean fortress near Artsvanist, Berdidash cyclopean fort with two Christianized pagan shrines, BA burials, Persian and Hellenistic period walled settlement near Karchaghbyur, cuneiform inscription of Sarduri II of the 8th c. BC, cut in the on the N edge of a huge Iron Age cyclopean fort near Tsovak, 6-4th c. BC fort, Klor Dar cyclopean fort and Bronze Age settlement near Akunk, massive stone walls of an Iron Age fortification, with shallow caves below in Ayrk, Iron Age fort near Tsovagyugh, Iron Age cyclopean fort of Mughani Khach near Getik, cyclopean fortresses near Artanish and Dashti-ler fort near Jil. Lake Sevan enters recorded history with the Urartians. King Rusa I seems to have conquered the Sevan basin and made it the eastern frontier of the kingdom of Urartu sometime around 720 BC. A number of boundary markers of Artashes I written in Aramaic, the Middle Eastern lingua franca, show the presence of the Arsacid dynasty in Hellenistic times. In medieval times, Gegharkunik was dominated by the Dopian clan. Medieval period of the marz is represented by a number of beautiful and architectually interesting monasteries, churches and fortresses. S. Tadevos the Apostle (Arakyal) church of the 7th c. in Ddmashen, Sevanavank Monastery of the 10th c. on the Sevan Peninsula, Ishkhanats Amrots fortress of the 10thc. in Berdkunk, Hayravank Monastery of the 9-12th c. in Hayravank, S. Grogor Lusavorich church/Daputs Monasstery of the 9-10th c., S. Astvatsatsin basilican church of the 9th c., the huge medieval-modern cemetery with an impressive array of early khachkars as well as evocative modern funerary statuary in Noratus, the small domed S. Astvatsatsin church of Hatsarat (built in 898) in Gavar, S. Hovhannes church of the 9-10th c. in Tsaghkashen, half-ruined Astvatsatsin basilica of the 4-5th c. and S. Gevorg domed church of 9-10th c. in Gandzak, Illikavank or Paravi Vank monastery of the 7th c. in Lanjaghbyur, the ruines of Shoghaga Vank monastery of the 7-17th c. and Masruts Anapat (hermitage of Masru) of the 9th c. in Dzoragyugh, Grigor Lusavorich (of the 9-10th c.) and the 16th c. s. Astvatsatsin churches in Tazagyugh, S. Astvatsatsin church and 13th c. khachkars in and Tsaghkevank monastery near Lichk, 9th c. Kotavank church near Nerkin Getashen, Poghos-Petros and other old churches and khachkars in Astghadzor, funerary monument in Zolakar,Vanevan monastery of the 10th c. in and Kolataki s. Astvatsatsin church of the late 9th-early 10th c., as welll as Hnevank monastery of the 10th c. near Artsvanist, 13-14th c. church in Lchavan, Makenyats Vank monastery of the 9-13th c. in Makenis, 13th c. church in Khachaghbyur, early 20th c. S. Astvatsatsin church, built on earlier foundations and fine khachkars with tombstones of the 16th c. burial ground surrounding the church in Vardenis, S. Astvatsatsin church (dated 1181) and the Katoghike S. Gevorg church of the 13thc. in Ayrk, large three-aisle basilica of S. Astvatsatsin of the 7th c. in Sotk, famous khachkar of 881 and 17th c. church in Mets Masrik, 13-16th c. khachkars in Kakhakn, 12-13th c. church and khachkars in Pokr Masrik, ruines of caravansaray in Pambak, 13th c. khachkars in Chambarak, Kotrats church of the 11th c. in Ttujur, ruins of the Old Getik monastery of the 13th c. near Martuni, 10-13th c. castle of Aghjkaberd near Aygut, ruined chapels near Shorzha are all recommended for a visit. At the time of the Russian conquest in 1828, Gegharkunik’s population was almost entirely Muslim, much of it Kurdish or Turkmen transhumant tribes. Many of the villages on the N side of the lake were founded by Russian schismatics, Molokans and their ecstatic offshoot the Priguni or "Jumpers."