The name “Shkrel” is found in various phonetic forms amongst the writings of foreign and local scholars of Albania. The earliest known mention of the name has been found in the 1416 register of the Cadaster of Shkoder.
The history of the Shkrel province can be evidenced by the archaeological findings made along the valley of Përroit të Thatë. From the archaeological perspective, this valley is well-known as the home to the fortified Illyrian settlement of Marshej, and for the other traces of antiquity found around the area. The Marshej Fort is a prehistoric Illyrian settlement built during the first Iron Age. The excavated tombs near the village of Dedaj and the archaeological material found inside of them belong to the early Bronze Age and relate to the Kotorac-Cetina cultural group. All of these sites constitute an area with numerous archaeological monuments and prove that earliest settlement of this province is at least as early as the Bronze Age.
In the Dedaj village, at the foot of the "Sukës së Sterkujes" in the homonymous neighborhood, visitors can find archeological material composed mainly of fragments of rubble dispersed over the entire area. Additionally, two pieces of bronze fibulas from the 4th century BC, bronze coins with the name of the Roman Emperor Alexander Severi on them, as well as pressed stones have been found in the area. On a constructed terrace, called "Bregu i Jushtës," various ceramic fragments of different periods have also been found.
In the village of Zagora, above a crisscrossed hillside called "Kryqi i Kolajve," a large stone with a diameter of 19m and a height of about 15m is kept. This large dimension of the stone and it position indicated that it could have been a cult object placed there by the Illyrian inhabitants of this valley. Likewise, fragments of prehistoric dishes are also found on the slope of the adjacent hill, which date back to the Illyrian civil period.
In the village of Bzhetë, in the Çekdedaj neighborhood, there is evidence of an open medieval settlement. Fragments of medieval artifacts of varying shapes and designs have been found, and they bare many similarities with the medieval pottery of Shurdhah. Historic metal objects like arrow tips, knives, bronze ornaments, and various types of joints have also been found.