The Ancient History website just published this short essay on cuneiform lexical lists — basically, the ancient equivalent of bilingual (and otherwise) dictionaries for Sumerian and Akkadian produced by the ancient scribes. From the opening paragraph:
Lexical lists are compilations of cuneiform signs and word readings written on clay tablets throughoutMesopotamia. From the late 4th millennium BCE up to the 1st century CE, scribal communities copied, modified, and passed on these cuneiform lexical lists and preserved them for as knowledge for a variety of purpose
From another site, we read:
“Sumerian lexical lists were provided with Akkadian translations in order to teach and preserve the knowledge of the dead language. . . . The Old Babylonian word lists are nearly all written in unilingual Sumerian. We know for certain, however, that in class the Sumerian words were translated into Akkadian — the translations were just not written down. Over the centuries the word lists grew and became more and more extensive, including more and more regular, abstruse, as well as utterly fantastic Sumerian words. At the same time, it became more and more common to write the Akkadian translation in a second column next to the Sumerian word. In the first millennium, eventually a more or less standardized bilingual (Sumerian-Akkadian) version emerged that was used all over Mesopotamia”
So sorry, Sitchinites and ancient aliens enthusiasts, I’ll let the ancient scribes tell us what they meant by their words and vocabulary, not Zecharia Sitchin. Sitchin, of course, didn’t tell his readers such things exist (numbering roughly 15,000). They may have checked such resources and learned the ancient Mesopotamians weren’t writing about space aliens and rocket ships.