There are ruins of an ancient city near the village of Shahnazarli. As a result of archaeological excavations carried out on the bank of the Shabran River in 1979-1989, the ruins of the ancient city of Shabran with an area of 450 square kilometers were discovered. The historical city, which was founded between Europe and Asia along the Caspian Sea coast, is now a museum.
Shabran was built by the Sassanid Shah Khosrov Anushiravan (531-579) in the 6th century and was occupied by Arabs in the 7th century. In the 9th-10th centuries, the city turned into a political-administrative, trade, crafts and cultural center. In the 10th-12th centuries, it was one of the main political centers of the Shirvanshah state. The family graveyard and central prisons of Shirvanshah rulers were situated here. According to written sources, in Shabran, Shirvanshah Ibrahim gave a big banquet in honour of Tamerlane, who defeated the Golden Horde Khan Tokhtamysh.
The Mongol invasions and Ottoman raids dealt a serious blow to Shabran’s economy. During the decline of the Safavid state, the city became a small settlement. During the turmoil and infighting in the country in the early 18th century, Shabran went into decline and gradually turned into ruins. The ethnic composition of the city’s population was diverse. Although most of the population were Muslims, there were also Christians and Jews here. The city population was engaged in the production of ceramics. Pottery workshops have been found under the ruins of Shabran. Azerbaijan’s first sewerage system was built in Shabran in the 9th century. The covered network built from stone and bricks connected the central street to the river. In the 11th-12th centuries, spring water was supplied to the city by special pipes from a distance of 14 km. Shabran was laid out with mansions built from raw bricks. In medieval Azerbaijan, the first street was built in Shabran. Ovens in the bakers’ street are still intact. One of the largest mints in the east was located in Shabran. Various metal coins found during excavations show that copper production, jeweller’s art and weapon-making were developed in the city in the Middle Ages.