One of my oldest and dearest friends, a Real Live Archaeologist, has been spending her summers for the last many years at a dig site at Zincirli Höyük, located in southern Turkey not far from the Syrian border. The site, as well as the village of Zincirli itself and the nearby town of Fevzipasa, is located about eight miles from the epicenter of one of the earthquakes that struck the area yesterday. The dig has operated there since 2006, and over the years she has gotten to know nearly everyone in Zincirli Village and half of Fevzipasa, which is where she stayed during her visits. The building where they lived collapsed in the earthquake, and she was in contact with friends over there as recently as Sunday night. Her daughter, now almost a teenager, took her first steps in Fevzipasa. There is, understandably, no clear word on just how hard the area was hit as of yet, but they have already heard about casualties among people affiliated with the dig.
The co-director of the dig has started a GoFundMe which has, as of this writing, raised over $20,000 in the short time since the quake hit. The funds raised are to be directed straight to residents of Zincirli Village and Fevzipasa. I donated just now, and if any of you happen to have any spare funds and were looking for a way to make an impact, this will be direct relief to people impacted by this tragedy. There are more details on the GoFundMe site, and I would encourage everyone reading this to take a look and consider donating. Thank you.