The mound at Derbe has not been excavated. However, in 1956 an inscription was found at the site of the present-day village of Kerti Huyuk, at Derbe, showing it to be the true Derbe. A second inscription was later found, marking the grave of a bishop of Derbe. This shows great Christian influence in Derbe centuries after Paul visited the city.
The photos on the left give an impression of the isolation of Derbe in Paul's day and today. CLICK ON PHOTOS for larger images, credits and excellent descriptions of their historical significance. (Holy Land Photos.Org).
The notable feature of Paul's visits to Derbe is that although he most probably visited it on all three of his journeys in Galatia, he never once records suffering any ill-treatment at the hands of the people there. This is in total contrast to the erratic behavior of the people of Lystra, about 60 miles away.
His faithful helper, Timothy, was from Derbe, as was Timothy's mother. One Gaius of Derbe actually joined him for at least a portion of his third journey. Derbe was located on the major route connecting Iconium to Laranda, a titular see of Isauria, afterwards of Lycaonia. Strabo (XII, 569) states that Laranda had belonged to the tyrant Antipater of Derbe. Laranda is now known as Caraman.
Paul would have travelled up to Derbe from Tarsus by way of the Cilician Gates, a rugged pass in the Taurus mountains though which almost all traffic passing between the Cilician Plain (Tarsus) and the Anatolian highland (Iconium) had to travel.
Cities in Galatia
Below are links to the Galatian Churches most probably included in the Epistle to the Galatians: