ARCHAEOLOGISTS excavating the Santa Maira Caves in Alicante have uncovered evidence that they were once possibly used by cannibals. This includes several bones of adults and children that appear to have been cut by hand tools and have bite marks. They also show burn marks which could have been from cooking but also from burial rites. If the discovery does lead to firm evidence of cannibalism it is believed it will be the first such instance in Western Europe. The remains are thought to date back around 10,000 years, a period when many different tribes and cultures were beginning to converge on the fertile and temperate Mediterranean. This may explain the cannibalism as a way of a group sending a message to enemy peoples to stay away from their territories.