a feudal state in northern Azerbaijan that existed from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century.
The khanate was established during the struggle of the Azerbaijanis, led by Itadji Chelebi-khan, against Persian domination. It was divided into eight magals (districts), each of which was governed by a naib. The economy was based on agriculture, especially sericulture, but handicrafts were also highly developed.
Beginning in the late 18th century, the khans of Sheki sought protection from Russia to meet the threat of Persian conquest. In 1805 a treaty was signed uniting the khanate with Russia; the union was confirmed by the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813. In 1819 the khanate became a provintsiia (subprovince) under Russian military administration. In 1840 the provintsiia was renamed Sheki District and incorporated into Caspian Oblast. The area became part of Baku Province in 1859 and Elizavetpol’ Province in 1868.