Gobustan is one of the regions of the historical province of Azerbaijan - Shirvan. Its first name was Duvannı. Duvannı station was established in 1893-1994.In 1901-1905 for the first time the oil was sent abroad from Duvannı station.The settlement was organized in 1951 as an urban-type settlement. Duvannı’s name was changed in 1972 to Gobustan. The area of present day Gobustan was inhabited by ancient people. Descriptions of rock samples that are currently protected in Gobustan State Reserve are proofs of that. As a result of archaeological investigations it has been identified that the rock pictures relate to the second millennium BC - "Stone Age".
Gobustan is best known for being the home to the famous rock petroglyphs and mud volcanoes.The area has been settled since the 8th millennium BC. It is known for hosting thousands of rock engravings spread over 100 square km depicting hunting scenes, people, ships, constellations and animals. Its oldest petroglyphs date from the 12th century BC. In 2007, UNESCO included the 'Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape' in the World Heritage list. The Gobustan State Reserve was featured during the Thirty-third Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
There are inscriptions nearby left by a Roman Legionnaire around 75AD during the reign of Emperor Domitian which is the eastern-most Roman inscription ever found. Gobustan is also famous for its mud volcanoes. Nearly 300 of the world's 700 mud volcanoes are located in this part of eastern Azerbaijan near the Caspian Sea.