Hephaistos belongs to the guardian-gods or ‘creators' of the Universe and functions as a pivotal force among the ‘proto-hellenic' deities. The three-part paper, presented by the author in 2006, and expanded in 2010, focused, firstly, on the strong relationship between Hephaistos, as a comet/meteor god and the Pelasgian substratum of circum-Mediterranean region. In fact, a great deal of information acquired from the Greek Epic of the Iliad seems to refer to the extended catastrophe of the beginning of 2nd millennium B.C. A coherent presentation of geoarchaeological, archaeoastronomical, archaeological and philological data, has shown that Hephaistos may function as a symbolic archetype of past impact events, being one of the pivotal figures within the gnostical system of the Pelasgians during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. Moreover, Phaethon's ride, the famous fall of Troy and the 12th cent. catastrophes formed various mythological ‘layers' of information within the palimpsest of archaeoastronomical circum-Mediterranean knowledge.
Furthermore, a different analysis and interpretation of disaster myths assessed the contemporary and future trends concerning the interrelations between astrobiological phenomena (comets, impacts, plasma emissions, Super Novae explosions, solar cycles, Venus transits as biohazards) and past epidemics (Justinian plague, the Black Death, the AD 1918 flu pandemic spread, other more recent cases), and provided new evidence through famous circum-Mediterranean ‘myths' (Venus as a comet, Apollo's wrath in Homeric Iliad, Tandalides/Niobe, Deucalion's flood, the Ten Plagues of Egypt, the Late Bronze Age Pestilence that destroyed mighty empires). So, the dual role of comets & asteroids as bringers of destruction, as well as bringers of the building blocks of life or even of life itself, has been highlighted.
Especially, inspired researchers such as Immanuel Velikovsky, Alfred de Grazia & Paul La Violette have already pointed out the interrelation of similar past events with the formation of myths in ancient societies. A cometary or planetary near-encounter results in falling of gases, hydrocarbons, burning pitch & stones. Such events are unknown to modern experience but are indicated by ancient legends from many places worldwide and by various geological & biological phenomena detected via geoarchaeological and bioarchaeological studies.
First, the author in 2005, highlighted the importance of some Sanskrit data for the elaboration of a framework for the Bronze Age disaster astromyths. Sanskrit literature of ancient and medieval India is rich in information about environmental sciences. (Iyengar, 2004). Apart from Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana, the Vedas are four in number -- the Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. Each Veda itself is composed of parts. The layers of text reflect the chronology of composition, with the Samhita being the most ancient part and the Upanishads the most recent. It is agreed among scholars that the Rigveda Samhita (RV for brevity) is by far the oldest part of the Vedas. The RV contains 1028 suktas (hymns) with a total of 10552 mantras (verses) arranged in 10 Mandalas or books.
Ancient Vedic people, as all ancestors living under turbulent skies, appear to have been preoccupied with cosmic fires (meteoritic swarms and comets), as early as the regular ritualistic observation of the sky, that gradually led to calendar's elaboration and later to the knowledge of the planets (Iyengar, 2010). In RV there are a group of hymns which refer to meteoritic showers, celestial fires and at least a few comets with names “I beheld the guardian, the never resting, wandering on paths hither and thither, ‘for he indeed wanders hither and thither on divine paths,' arraying himself in the gathering and the radiating, he moveth to and fro within the spheres. ‘–for again and again he wanders moving within these worlds”. Rig-Veda 1.164.31 SB (Shatapath Brahman) 220.127.116.11. The interconnections will shock us, all.