We use timelines quite often in the history classroom, so consider that now. The word timeline should almost never remain singular. It might be simple to track the history of our great nation through the perils of time, but for it to remain that simple does an injustice to many others who lived and died as well. Our history is more than Colonization>>>Revolution>>>Civil War>>>World Wars>>>Civil Rights>>>Terrorism>>>Today. That's all well and good; it's easy enough to follow, but it leaves out entire groups of people.
Our nation began in more than one location. It began with more than a simple British influence. Our founders were more than second grade biography versions of themselves. They were complex, flawed, and insightful individuals with all kinds of influences. And their personal timelines weave in and out of each other. They are layered with other lines of time, those of other complex, flawed, and insightful people. There are arguments and disagreements, dustups and scuffles, romances and comraderies, alliances and friendships. The overruling cultures change, reshaping themselves at whim or breaking with the forces of a majorities that are not always right. Nope, history is definitely not flat.
The same is true for the Israelites of the Old Testament of the Bible. While three major religions follow their timeline, it also becomes necessary to consider the Egyptian influences in the region, the Assyrian and Babylonian movements coinciding with Scripture, and eventually Grecian and Roman powers that overwhelm the world with technology, education, and sheer power. All of those cultural timelines overlay the personal timelines of individuals as much as current world governments, military powers, and social justice machines.
Those complicated timeline tangles are the things that keep us coming back for more. We will never scrape the bottom of the history barrel.