Aveyron is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790.
The first known historical inhabitants of the region were the Rutenii tribe, but the area was inhabited previously to this, boasting many prehistoric ruins.
During the medieval and early modern periods, and until the 1790s, the territory covered by Aveyron was a province known as Rouergue.
In 1817, a local prosecutor Antoine Bernardin Fualdès was assassinated. The sordid circumstances of his death, following which his body was found floating in the Aveyron River, led to the matter becoming publicised as a cause célèbre. Recent studies have indicated that he met his end on the initiative of a right wing royalist organisation known as the Chevaliers de la Foi (Knights of the Faith).