By Wendy Williams

ALREADY known as the Cradle of European man, now the ancient village of Orce has sprung up a few more interesting surprises.

In what is being described as one of the best archaeological sites in Europe, investigators have found the remains of hippos, rhinos and elephants.

Archaeologists believe the animals were eaten by local hunters up to 1.3 million years ago.

The dig at Barranco Leon is said to have the largest concentrations of prehistoric animal remains outside Africa’s Rift Valley.

Director Robert Sala claims they “are the richest and the best in Europe.”

The excavations are being undertaken by 45 people, including archaeologists, geologists and palaeontologists all working to uncover the secrets of human evolution and find clues to when mankind first arrived in Europe.