An interesting article at The Atlantic explores the beauty of rare alphabets.
A Vermont-based writer has been documenting our alphabet heritage through wood carvings as part of his Endangered Alphabets Project. Tim Brookes exhibits the wood carvings and has written a book with an introduction by the linguist David Crystal.
Edward Tenner writes in The Atlantic:
My favorite from Mr. Brookes’ book, though, is Mandaic, spoken by only a hundred or so survivors of an ancient people and faith, the only language written so that even in handwriting all lines are equal. Mandeans also may be unique in believing their language was created by God before humanity itself, and highly developed letter mysticism is at the core of their religion.
The Endangered Alphabets project is not just about language or typography but about the unique insights into humanity and world that obscure scripts preserve. (Source: The Atlantic)
Take a look at the article to see a slideshow of some scripts, and at the Endangered Alphabets Project website for more information.