The decipherment of Babylonian astronomy began at the end of the 19th century. A milestone is Franz Xaver Kugler’s book on lunar motion according to the Babylonians (Die Babylonische Mondrechnung ). With such studies as Astronomical Cuneiform Texts (1955) and History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy (1975), Otto Neugebauer of Brown University played an important role in this development.
Only recently, however, have the Diaries become easily accessible, because of publications by Abraham Sachs and Hermann Hunger; the first three volumes of their Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia, containing most of the Diaries, appeared in 1988, 1989 and 1996.
These texts can be found in Bezalel Porten and Ada Yardeni, Textbook of Aramaic Documents from Ancient Egypt, 3 vols. (Jerusalem: Academon, 1986–1993).
In these lists, each year is named after an official called the limu, whose main function was to lend his name to the year (eponymously). The Assyrian year-lists are not king lists, though sometimes kings act as the limu. These lists are collected in Alan Millard, The Eponyms of the Assyrian Empire, 910–612 BC (Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1994).