The first dictionary,
Around 2,300 BC a group of Semitic people called the Akkadians invaded and conquered Sumer, a large group of city states along the Tigris and Euphrates River, now modern Iraq. The Akkadians would build a large dominion that now is regarded as the first multinational empire in history. The Akkadian Empire was also the first multilingual empire, with the Akkadians speaking a Semitic language and their newly conquered subjects speaking Sumerian. The result of this bilingualism led to another first in history, the first dictionary. Sumerian and Akkadian dictionaries were written on clay tablets and contained many common words and phrases in both Akkadian and Sumerian written in a type of text called cuneiform.
One surviving example is the Urra-Hubullu (pictured above), which is comprised of 24 tablets with lists of boats, ground vehicles, animals, stones, plants, and star names. Other works lists occupations, weights and measurements, foods, clothing, metals, compound words, and pronunciation guides.