The remains of 167 people found in a Southern Mexican cave appear to be part of a 1,300-year-old pre-Hispanic cemetery, according to the country's main anthropology agency.

The Chiapas state prosecutor's office said authorities found the remains on Friday on the Nuevo Ojo de Agua.

The report originally drew attention because the remains were found on a ranch in a region where Central American migrants pass through while heading north. 

Mass graves have been found in the past two years, mainly in northern Mexico, containing the bodies of dozens of migrants and others allegedly killed by drug cartels.

Local farmers had first come across the cave last week and alerted authorities.

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Emilio Gallaga of the national anthropology institute says the first test results show the remains come from a still-unspecified pre-Hispanic community dating to the eighth century. 

Some of the bodies' skulls showed signs of artificial deformation, forensic experts and anthropologists said, according to Reuters

The Maya people of Southern Mexico and Guatemala used to press infants' skulls with planks to elongate them, for aesthetic reasons. 

Gallaga says clay artwork that could have come from a pre-Hispanic group was also found in the cave.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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