Bird mythology has always intrigued me. In ancient mythology vultures ability to consume death and produce life was associated with rebirth. Many gods featured vulture wings or faces. Vultures were also associated with keeping life and death in order. As long as the vultures consumed the dead and were able to reproduce, the balance of life was in good order.
In the early Neolithic culture, the deceased were exposed in order to be excarnated by vultures and other carrion birds. The Neolithic period's highly prominent cult of the dead was focused around excarnation, and the use of the vulture as a symbol of both astral flight and the transmigration of the soul in death.