Ohio's Bird Effigy Symbolized the Souls Journey to the Afterlife

Ohio's Bird Effigy Symbolized the Souls Journey to the Afterlife

Bird effigy within this circular earthwork was surrounded by several mounds.
       A bird is usually symbolic of death and helping the deceased find their way from this life to the next. The bird effigies within the circular works at Newark and nearby at the Yost Works have been the sites of charnel houses with the birds representing and assuring that the deceased would find their way to the other world. 
Bird effigy inside of the large henge at Newark
      This idea is reiterated at the Great Henge at Newark that has a bird effigy in its center aligned to the east and within its center contained the remains of several charnel houses. A charnel house was a place in which the dead were brought and either remained in state until the bones were defleshed and subsequently cremated or bones may have been brought from another location for cremation or left in a bundle and covered with earth. Others may were placed extended on a clay platform with their accompaniment of grave goods and covered by earth, forming the mound.
The bird effigy at Newark is aligned to the May 1st sunrise that has been intepreted as the 'renewal of life.'