As long time readers may have noted, I am something of an archaeology buff in addition to my religious interests.
So of course I had been carefully following the story of the 60 hour window allowed to possibly excavate the tomb of Christ.
What did they find? A limestone slab of course. One of hundreds of similar slabs from the era found around Jerusalem.
What makes this interesting is the history of the site. It appears that in 325 CE representatives from the new Christian Roman Emperor Constantine went looking for tomb. They were directed to a Roman temple built by Hadrian around 125 CE to cover up the site of Christian worship. If true, and no way of determining that barring new source material, that means that Christians had been gathering at this place 90 years after Jesus's death, and that would be at the latest. As the region changed hands over the centuries this remained fixed as the site. To put this in a little perspective: The final list of the accepted books of what would become the New Testament did not appear until 367 CE and some scholars, myself among them, would place the latest books - the Pastorals- at around 140. So people have been identifying this as the site of Jesus' burial for longer than there has been a New Testament.
Scientists hope scans and samples taken will help to determine exactly how long the site has been in use as a place of worship.
No word yet on whether or not they will move the ladder.