In 1956, on the basis of an inscription, Michael Ballance fixed the site of Derbe at a mound known as Kerti Hüyük, some 22 kilometres (14 mi) north-northeast of Karaman (ancient Laranda) in Turkey. Although subject to controversy, this is considered the most likely site.
In Roman times it struck its own coins, of which a few are extant.
The apostles Paul and Barnabas came to Derbe after escaping a disturbance and attempted stoning in Iconium, about 60 miles away, and successfully evangelized there. Paul and Barnabas returned there after being stoned again in Lystra. On these experiences, Paul commented, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." He and Silas later visited Derbe again.