Edward Loring

Edward Loring

Edward Loring (1937 - 2015) was an American Egyptologist who assisted James W. Mavor on his two international expeditions to Santorini (Thera) to discover Atlantis. During the expeditions Loring assisted Mavor and was helpful because he was fluent in Greek and temporarily lived on Thera. In 1967, Loring was falsely accused of smuggling antiquities. He was arrested and imprisoned, but later was set free and cleared of all charges. However, Spyridon Marinatos bitterly disputed Loring over the incident.[1]

Loring argued for the Minoan hypothesis, but never published his theory about Atlantis.

From 1997 to his death Loring was a research fellow at the Centre of Egyptological Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences) and a specialist in ancient Egyptian funerary art. He published in a number of academic journals.


  • B.A. (Hons) Egyptology, University of Basel.
  • B.A. Ancient and Modern Greek, University of Graz.

Fossilised monkey head

Monkey head

Fossilised monkey head?

In 1966 Loring discovered what he thought was a fossilised monkey skull on Kamari, a beach of Thera; the monkey was supposedly a victim of the Theran eruption, c. 1500 BCE.[2] In his book Voyage to Atlantis, James W. Mavor notes:

"Loring thought that it was a fossilised skull, transformed during the eruption. If true, it would imply that monkeys lived on Thera during Minoan times... monkeys were kept by royalty as pets, so it follows that the monkey could have been brought from Crete by important persons during their visits to the metropolis of Atlantis..." (Mavor, 1969: 129)

Further, according to Mavor:

"Sure enough, a leading Greek anthropologist, Professor Poulianos, arrived at the opinion that the fossil monkey head was indeed authentic, and could be further identified as... West African green monkey, a type known to have been imported from Egypt to Crete for the amusement of royalty. An X-shaped skull fracture on top of the head indicated a violent death." (Mavor, 1969: 130)

A. G. Galanopoulos adds that some scientists maintain the find is a genuine fossil:

"A curious... discovery in 1966 by Mr Edward Loring of a fossilised monkey head. It has been examined by Professor C. Eliakis, a specialist in post-mortem examination, who finds that it shows a multiple fracture by a blunt object - probably a hot volcanic bomb which rapidly cooled. The excellent preservation of the features is thought to be due to the high temperature; and according to Dr Paraskevopoulos, Professor of Mineralogy and Petrology, after thus embalming by heat the organic matter of the head was replaced by andesite lava..." (Galanopoulos & Bacon, 1969: 153)

In contrast Sinclair Hood (1971: 157) thought it could be be just a natural rock.[3]

Notes and references

  1. Peter James briefly comments: "Edward Loring who lived on Thera, had been charged with smuggling antiquities, but, despite his acquittal, Marinatos remained hostile" (James, 1995: 68).
  2. Poulianos, A. (1972). "The discovery of the first victim of Thera's Bronze Age eruption". Archaeology. 25(3): 229-230.
  3. Hood, S. (1971). The Minoans: the Story of Bronze Age Crete. Praeger Publishers.