September 23, CNN

LONDON, England (AP) -- Two British archeologists declared Monday that they have uncovered the core reason behind the construction of one of the world's best known and least understood landmarks.

The stone circle at Stonehenge has stood for thousands of years -- and bred endless debate over whether it was a temple for ancient sun-worshippers, a sacred burial site, or even a kind of massive prehistoric astronomical calculator.

Professors Geoffrey Wainwright and Timothy Darvill argued their own explanation for the mysterious monument: Stonehenge, they said, was a kind of primeval Lourdes, drawing prehistoric pilgrims from around Europe.

"We found several reasons to believe that the stones were built as part of a belief in a healing process," Wainwright told journalists assembled at London's Society of Antiquaries.

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photo: Druids perform a pagan Samhain blessing ceremony at Stonehenge, in Wiltshire. (AFP/Getty Images)