Monday morning I heard about a large earthquake near the border of Turkey and Syria.
I later looked to see exactly where the earthquake took place and found it was very near to some places I visited in Turkey in 2014.
I thought back to the day when we were near where the earthquake struck. That morning we had left Antioch and were driving very close to the Syrian border. We came to a checkpoint and found that we had missed our turn for the site we were going to visit. We could tell that we were near the border as there was significant military presence in the area.
Our destination was an archaeological site near the border with Syria.
We finally made it to Tel Ta’yinat. The tel is in a bend of the Orontes river and was the home of Neo-Hittites. The main feature of the site is a temple that is very similar in size and construction as Solomon’s Temple.
If you look closely you can see the layout of the temple in the picture above.
Here is a map showing a larger area. You can see how the border with Syria goes north and then turns to the east. The initial earthquake hit near the border where it turns east. Tel Tayinat is only about 30 miles from the epicenter. Some of the aftershocks have been centered right near the site of the tel.
I have some great memories of visiting this spot as it was where I took one of my favorite bee pictures.
That day we had lunch in Osmaniye which has also been heavily affected by the earthquake. The spicy lamb dish that I had was really delicious.
That evening we made it to Adana as we continued our tour through Turkey. The earthquakes this week have brought back many memories from this trip.
You can check out my Turkey page for links to more posts about the tour I took in Turkey.