The world’s oldest dictionary was inscribed on mud tablets 4,500 year ago in the ancient Akkadian Empire — today’s Iraq and Syria. The first English alphabetical dictionary was written by English schoolteacher Robert Cawdrey in 1604, when Shakespeare was still writing plays.
The text is written in the oldest Semitic language yet identified and deciphered with oldest know bilingual dictionary, written in Sumerian (a language already deciphered) and Elbaite. The Elbaites wrote in columns and used both sides of the tablets. Lists of figures were separated from the totals by a blank column. Treaties, description of wars and anthems to the gods were also recorded on tablets.