But I was pleased to see a big piece on the history of the Cherokee alphabet, by John Noble Wilford. The story has been out for a while (if not in the big media that I know of) about the discovery of remarkably old carvings in a cave in Kentucky in the syllabary developed by Sequoyah for Cherokee. The best thing about the article is the on-line image by Fred Coy and Andras Nagy.
The real news is that there's a date with the carving that reads either '1808' or '1818'. Some sources, like Campbell's Handbook of Scripts and Alphabets, give a date of 1819-1820 for the script's invention, so that's been pushed back. Particularly exciting of course is the possibility that Sequoyah himself wrote this and the article lays out his connections to the area, to visiting caves while working on the syllabary, etc.
Here's a really intriguing comment from the archaeologist who made the discovery, Kenneth B. Tankersley:
He said that he was investigating possible links between the traditional glyphs and a few of the symbols in Sequoyah’s script. If a link can be established, he added, the inscription may be “our Rosetta stone, enabling us to see where prehistory meets history.”Now, there's some exciting philology.