A number of texts mention the word uttatu
, which Assyriologists translate as "barley," partly on the basis of two Aramaic dockets of the sixth and fifth centuries where this word is equivalent to srn, "barley." The editor accepts this translation for the texts of the sixth and fifth centuries, but assumes that when the letters under consideration were composed it meant "wheat," since all the Semitic cognates of uttatu
mean "wheat." Thus, he contends that only in the late seventh and sixth centuries, after increasing salinization of the soil, barley became the dominant crop and uttatu
"its signifier" (p.