This remarkable village has a huge number of significant Christian sites, and a major Jewish site also cherished by Christians and Muslims. It is historically incredibly rich.
Alkusch is situated in a very unfruitful neighbourhood. The town is inhabited only by Armenians, and appears to be very ancient. The houses, which stand single, are like fortified towers, rising at the foot of the mountains. Benjamin II (1859), p 71
The fig, pomegranate, and evergreen trees are growing beside the fountain and stream that flows through. This was the birthplace of the Prophet Nahum and the Elkoshite. He has often ploughed these fields and looked upon these scenes. We are very cordially received by the Kahyah Yusef, a Chaldean. Prime 1859, p 266;
An hour's ride [from the Monastery of Rabban Hormizd] brought us to Alkôsh, celebrated as the burial place of the prophet Nahum, and the seat of the Nestorian patriarchs after they had abandoned Seleucia and Baghdad. This is a large village containing 300 Chaldean families and two churches, one of which is now in ruins. Badger 1852, p 104
In 1850 when we again spent a day here, I took up my lodgings in the old residence of the Nestorian patriarchs, where a few of their Chaldean descendants still find a miserable shelter. Though once a rather sumptuous abode, it is now nothing better than a heap of ruins; indeed the entire village is in a very dilapidated condition and the people looked sickly and miserable. Mutran Yoosef, who has succeeded Mar Zeyya in the patriarchate since our last visit, sometimes resides here with his brother, the surgeon and doctor of the village, a tall rough-looking man — but he was then absent at Mosul. Badger 1852, p 104
Prime, Samuel Irenaeus. 1859. The Bible in the Levant: Life and Letters of the Rev. C. N. Righter, Agent of the American Bible Society in the Levant.
Badger, George Percy. 1852. The Nestorians and their Rituals.