Stonehenge was the Lourdes of the ancient world for pilgrims on a health kick

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Stonehenge was a major international healing centre, according to a leading British archaeologist.

Up till now, most scholars have accepted that the 4,600-year-old stone circle was used mainly for ritual purposes but new research suggests that it was a prehistoric version of Lourdes packed full of pilgrims from all over the ancient world.

Professor Timothy Darvill, who has just published the most detailed study of the area ever carried out ['Stonehenge: Biography of a Landscape' (Tempus)], says it is much more associated with water sources, traditionally imbued with healing properties, than thought.

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