A forensic facial reconstruction taken from the skeleton of a man who is believed to have lived at the Stonehenge site at around 3630 CE on display at the new visitor center at Stonehenge, England. (Alastair Grant / Associated Press)

Stonehenge -- the 5,000-year-old prehistoric monument in England -- has received an upgrade in the form of a renovated, $44-million visitor center that features digital exhibits as well as bones recovered from near the ancient site.

The visitor center, which officially opened Wednesday, features 250 historic objects, including old coins and trinkets, as well as historic documents. It also features a reconstruction of an Early Neolithic man based on bones found near the site. 

Organizers of the site said that the bones suggest a man between 25 and 40 years old, of slender build and born about 5,500 years ago, before Stonehenge was completed. The display of bones has upset some people who identify themselves as modern-day druids, saying that the exhibition is disrespectful of the dead.

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Stonehenge receives more than 1 million visitors a year. The visitor center, which sits a little more than a mile away from the actual site, will allow tourists to approach the monument by foot or by shuttle service. Admission to the site is £14.90 (about $24) for adults.

One of the highlights of the center is a 360-degree digital display that simulates the experience of standing in the center of Stonehenge. The display features a three-minute movie designed to allow visitors to experience the summer and winter solstices.

Among the new amenities being touted is an expanded gift shop, which features a range of Stonehenge-themed merchandise.

Stonehenge is an official English Heritage site, which means government funds go toward the preservation and protection of the monument.


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