Dr. Mark Wilson—author of the excellent Biblical Turkey—has drawn our attention to the fact that excavations at Derbe have begun!
The excavations have been underway since July 8, 2013 by researchers of the Selçuk University. They say that they have found remains of what may be a Christian Church, walls, tombs, etc. It seems that there are also remains that date back some 8,000 years ago! [This would seem to make them almost as old as not-to-distant Catalhüyük; CR]. The announcement is found in the Hürriyet Daily News.
Derbe has been identified with the antiquity of site of Kerti Hüyük which is located 15 miles [24 km.] north northeast of Karaman. It is a distinctive mound set out in the middle of a plain.
It has not been excavated, but An inscription found there mentions “the gods of Derbe” as well as the council and people of the town. In addition, a fourth century A.D. tombstone from the area mentions Michael, a bishop of Derbe. Derbe was situated in the Lycaonian region (Acts 14:6) of the Roman province of Galatia.
Derbe was the eastern most city visited by Paul and Barnabas on Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 14:20). Evidently they were not persecuted there as they had been at Lystra and Iconium (2 Tim 3:11). Instead of heading directly to Tarsus and Antioch, through the Cilician Gates they revisited the churches that they had established at Lystra, Iconium, Pisidian Antioch, Perge and Attalia before departing by ship for Antioch on the Orontes. Paul revisited the city on his second (Acts 16:1) and probably third journeys as he passed westward through the region. Gaius of Derbe actually joined him for at least a portion of his third journey (Acts 20:4).
For cities associated with Paul’s First Journey Check the Links Here.