Hello. I've been lurking on this list for about a month, and over the past few days it's been swamped with a ton of OT material.  As I see it, I have two choices if I want to avoid this material:
a) Leave the list.
b) Post something of my own, and hopefully inspire some discussion.
I have chosen option b.
To introduce myself, I am an anthropology Ph.D. candidate at McGill University. about three months away from my defense.  My research is a comparative historical study of all numerical notation systems (visual but primarily non-phonetic techniques for representing numbers) that have been used throughout history.  My research topics, data collection and methodology are closely affiliated with those of scholars of scripts rather than those of the history of mathematics, which only rarely concerns itself with written numeration.  I'd like to think that I have some small degree of expertise in this field, and that I can help answer questions posed by people on this list, but I also recognize that as a comparativist, I have a lot to learn from specialists in particular scripts. 
So, to start a discussion, I was wondering if anyone is interested in alphabetic numeral systems.  As many of you no doubt know, a number of scripts (most notably Greek, but also Gothic, Glagolitic, Cyrillic, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Ge'ez, Hebrew, Syriac, and Arabic) assign(ed) numerical values to the letters of their scripts.  To simplify matters quite a bit, they work by assigning the values 1-9 to the first nine letters, 10-90 to the next nine, and 100-900 to the next nine (using obsolete or borrowed signs as necessary to fill out the full complement of signs).  They are thus additive rather than positional (place-value) systems. All of them derive, directly or indirectly, from the Greek alphabetic numerals, which were developed in the middle of the 6th century BC.
I've been trying for years to learn about the eventual fate of some of these systems.  The Hebrew system is still actively used in certain contexts, Greek to a minimal extent - sometimes for pagination, and Coptic, Ge'ez and Syriac and Arabic in liturgical and magical texts.  However, as far as I can tell, the Glagolitic, Cyrillic, Armenian and Georgian alphabetic numerals, despite surviving for many centuries, are now all extinct. What I'm trying to figure out, so far without success, is when they ceased to be used (if at all) and what historical circumstances led to their discontinuation.  For Armenian and Georgian, it seems to have been during the period of Ottoman rule that they ceased to be used, while I remember reading (sorry, no ref) that Peter the Great was responsible for replacing the old Cyrillic system with Hindu-Arabic numerals.
The best work I've been able to find on this subject is Thomas V. Gamkrelidze's "Alphabetic Writing and the Georgian Script" (Delmar, NY: Caravan Books, 1994), which despite its title is a comparative work that is heavily focused on the historical relationships among the alphabetic numerals and scripts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.  However, it is slight on historical data and information about texts, and seems somewhat dubious on some other fronts. A. Schenker's "The Dawn of Slavic" (New Haven: Yale, 1996) has lots of early historical information on Glagolitic & Cyrillic numerals, but little for later periods.  "The World's Writing Systems" and other comparative studies of scripts have been of no help to me on this topic, and while some grammars describe these systems, they don't discuss the historical contexts of their use and decline. 
If anyone has any expertise in the Eastern European or Caucasian scripts, or knows someone who does, I'd greatly appreciate any help you could provide.  Otherwise, I'd be happy if people just want to talk about this instead of ... well, anything.
Thanks, and kind regards,

Stephen Chrisomalis
Department of Anthropology, McGill University