The Urartu people flourished in the iron ages, between the 9th and 6th centuries BC. There was no doubt that the spectacular fortress was built by the Urartu civilisation. But the lion symbol on the submerged fortress raised a lot of questions. So the archaeologists did further research and discovered that the Urartu people used the lion as a symbol for their community. A drawing of a lion was often inscribed on the walls, indicating that the inhabitants wanted to claim the building as their own.
This assertion faced a lot of opposition as each archaeologist had a different opinion on the exact period in which the castle was built. For example, Geoffrey Summers, a specialist historian, disagreed. According to him: “It seems more medieval than something from the Urartian kingdom”. According to his hypothesis, the castle was built in a much older period than the time of the Urartian kingdom. Archaeologists from Van Yüzüncü Yil University were however very confident that the castle was built during the Urartian civilisation.