1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kerkuk

KERKUK, or Qerqūq, the chief town of a sanjak in the Mosul vilayet of Asiatic Turkey, situated among the foot hills of the Kurdistan Mountains at an elevation of about 1100 ft. on both banks of the Khassa Chai, a tributary of the Tigris, known in its lower course as Adhem. Pop. estimated at 12,000 to 15,000, chiefly Mahommedan Kurds. Owing to its position at the junction of several routes, Kerkuk has a brisk transit trade in hides, Persian silks and cottons, colouring materials, fruit and timber; but it owes its principal importance to its petroleum and naphtha springs. There are also natural warm springs at Kerkuk, used to supply baths and reputed to have valuable medical properties. In the neighbourhood of the city is a burning mountain, locally famous for many centuries. Kerkuk is evidently an ancient site, the citadel standing upon an artificial mound 130 ft. high. It was a metropolitan see of the Chaldean Christians. There is a Jewish quarter beneath the citadel, and the reputed sarcophagi of Daniel and the Hebrew children are shown in one of the mosques.  (J. P. Pe.)