Tells Tell a Tale

Tells or Tels are actually called hoyuks in Turkey, but I couldn’t resist the title for this post. Also, the word can be spelled with either one or two l’s. I like to write it with two.

The highlights of our trip from Adana to Konya today was the visit to the tells of Derbe and Lystra.

Tour Bus - Adana, Turkey - Ancient Crossroads TourWe started off the day in Adana after two nights. We put out our bags and were ready to board the bus for a long day of travel.

Cilician Gates - Taurus Mountains - Gulek Pass - Paul's JourneysWe drove back through the Cilician Gates today as we headed toward Derbe. The climb up the Gulek Pass was slow, so we were able to get some nice pictures through the windows of the bus.

Taurus Mountains - Turkish Plains We were soon driving through the Anatolian Plain north of the Taurus Mountains. We drove through heavy agriculture areas where there were very few towns or even dwellings. The scenery was beautiful and we saw many different irrigation schemes.

Village near Derbe - Village Elder - Turkis village elder - White BeardsWhen we got near Derbe we stopped to take some pictures in a village. We had seen some ovens that were used to bake bread. We were soon surrounded by some of the villagers and had a good time talking with them.

I had my picture taken with one of the village elders. This man was in his 80’s and his sister who was 85 was also one of the people who was talking with us through our guide. She invited the whole bus to her house, but we needed to get to the tell.

I just noticed, I have been getting a lot of sun in the last week and am getting a good face tan.

Tell of Derbe - Kertihoyuk - Derbe, Turkey - Paul and Barnabas - Second Missionary JourneyHere is Kertihouk or the Tell of Derbe. We know that Paul and Barnabas preached there on Paul’s First Missionary Journey and he was there with Silas on his Second Journey.

Tell of Derbe - Kertihoyuk - Excavations - ArchaeologyExcavations were made last summer on the tell. Very little has been published about what was found, but there is some evidence of an early church building and also remains that date back 8,000 years.

I will be watching for more news about the site.

Pottery Shard - Pottery - Derbe - KertihoyukAs we walked up the hill of the tell and explored the area we were able to see many shards of pottery on the ground. We were able to pick up and examine the pieces, but needed to leave them at the site. It is against the law to take them out of the country.

I really liked this piece. You can see the beautiful coloring and the way that it seeps into the clay. Archaeologists are able to tell a lot from just a shard like this. When it was made, what it was used for, etc..

Karaman Museum - Derbe Inscription - Flag at Half-Staff - Turkish Mining disasterThe picture here is posted for two reasons. One, it is to show that we visited the Karaman Museum. In the courtyard of the museum is a stone that has the name Derbe on it. The stone helped to identify that Kertihoyuk was Derbe.

The second reason is to show that many flags today are flying at half-staff. There was a major mining disaster in Western Turkey yesterday. More than 200 miners were killed and many more are missing. The death toll may go as high as 365.

Small Glass Jug - Karaman Museum - Karaman Turkey I don’t know much about this little glass bottle, but I really like it. The museum in Karaman has a nice collection of artifacts from the region.

Tell Lystra - Lois, Eunice, Timothy, Paul - HatunsarayWe then pressed on to Lystra. The tell of Lystra is much larger. We were not able to climb up on the tell as it was on private property. Hopefully they will excavate at Lystra in the near future.

Many interesting things happened at Lystra like Paul healing a lame man. Lystra was also the home of Timothy and his mother and grandmother, Lois and Eunice.

Turkish Man on Donkey - Cattle Herder - Lystra As we were leaving Lystra and heading toward Konya we saw a herd or cows being moved from one place to another. It was interesting to see them herd the cattle toward the next location.

One thing that really struck me was one of the men on a donkey. He was the only one that was riding a donkey, and seemed to be the one in charge. He carried a whip and was swishing it through the air. I was really surprised as to how fast the donkey moved. The man was bouncing up and down on the donkey as he rode. Something that is best to experience in person 🙂

Konya - Whirling Dervishes - Iconium - MosquesWe finally made it to Konya or Iconium as the sun was setting. Konya is the home of Whirling Dervishes. The order of the Whirling Dervishes was founded in the 13th century. The order is part of the Sufism branch of Islam. At one time the Whirling Dervishes were banned in Turkey, but they are allowed to perform their ceremonies on a limited basis today.

Iconium is known for persecuting Paul and Barnabas. They then moved on to Lystra and Derbe. Lystra is quite close to Iconium, but Derbe is much further away.

We are in a nice hotel tonight, but only for this one night. Tomorrow we pack up again and head for Antalya.


Make sure you visit my Turkey page to find out more information and for links to the blogs of other tour members. We all have our unique styles and perspectives so visit all of them.

This entry was posted in Animals, Culture, History, Travel, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Tells Tell a Tale

  1. Enjoying reading your posts. You have a wonderful way of making even the little things interesting!

  2. Glenda McDougal says:

    Very interesting and informative post. Love the pictures …

  3. Boomdeeadda says:

    I hope you’re slathering on Sunscreen Steven. Don’t want to mess with that. I’ve always adored donkey’s. I’d rather just walk one than ride one though. Pretty amazing to find a *glass* bottle artifact. Such a breakable item to last hundreds of years.

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