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Despite their cooperation with white settlers, which had earned them recognition as one of the Five Civilized Tribes, thousands of Cherokees were sent to their death on the Trail of Tears. (read more)

Featured Article: Petroglyph

Lion Petroglyph, Twyfelfontein, Namibia.
Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surfaces by incising, pecking, carving, and abrading. Petroglyphs are found world-wide, and are often (but not always) associated with prehistoric peoples. They are one of the three different techniques used in Rock art, the prehistoric precursors to art. The meaning of these works is still unclear, but much conjecture and speculation has been produced in academic circles.

Some petroglyphs seem to depict real events whilst many other examples are apparently entirely abstract. Some theories hold that they may have been a way of transmitting information, while other theories ascribe them a religious or ceremonial purpose. There are many common themes throughout the many different places that the petroglyphs have been found; implying the universality of purpose and similarity of the impulses that might have created the imagery. The phenomenon is thought by many to be the foundation of art as well as an indication of the development of cognitive and abstract ability in the evolution of humankind, as most was created before the advent of the first major civilizations. While we may not understand their purpose, we can appreciate and enjoy the beauty of petroglyphs, admiring the creativity of those from long-ago eras.

Popular Article: Tamar

Tamar, in disguise, meets Judah
Tamar was the fore-mother of the Jews and the daughter-in-law of the patriarch Judah, the son of Jacob. She was the ancestor of King David in the Hebrew Bible and of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Though ignored in most Christian sources, Tamar played an important role in the lineage of Jesus. Her story involves life-risking drama and sexual intrigue, in which she is ultimately vindicated, despite the morally dubious tactics she used to achieve her goal of producing sons for Judah's lineage. She was originally married to Judah's eldest son, Er (Gen. 38:6). After Er's death, she was married to Onan, his brother, who also died. Judah promised that his third son, Shelah, would become her husband. When this promise was not fulfilled, Tamar disguised herself as a temple prostitute and offered herself to Judah. She claimed his staff, cord, and signet ring as a pledge in token of payment. From this union, Tamar became pregnant. When Judah accused her of fornication, she produced his possessions and identified Judah himself as the father. Tamar had twin sons, Zerah and Perez (Gen. 38:30), thus securing Judah's lineage.

Tamar is one of only five women mentioned in Matthew's version of the genealogy of Jesus, the others being Ruth, Rahab, Bathsheba, and Mary.