An author named Jason Colavito has managed to solve a conundrum posed by a certain 18th century account which mentions a fourth "great pyramid" at the Giza Plateau in Egypt, even though there are only three such structures located there – the Great Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.
According to the Daily Express, Colavito referred to the "Voyage d'Egypte et de Nubie," a 1755 book that records the voyage of Danish naval captain and cartographer Frederic Louis Norden through Egypt in 1737-1738.
Arguing that the book is of interest to "fringe historians" because of the "mistakes Norden made," Colavito explained how, in the English translation of the book, "Norden describes the so-called Black Pyramid, which he calls the 'fourth' pyramid, 'almost on a diagonal line' with the other three."
"The fourth pyramid is a hundred feet lower than the third," the centuries-old account states. "It is like the others, uncovered without, is shut, but hath no temple like the first. It has one article worthy of observation, which is, that its summit is terminated by one great stone, that seems to have served for a pedestal. It cannot be said that it is exactly in the same line with the others, in as much as it leans a little more to the west. These four great pyramids are surrounded by many lesser ones."
Colavito, however, argued that he personally concurs with Colonel Howard Vyse, "who in 1840 suggested that Norden has mistaken one of Menkaure’s satellite pyramids, the westernmost, for a fourth great pyramid".
"The ruined satellite pyramid, in the form of a step-pyramid, ends in a cube, while the easternmost one could be said to resemble rubble, the 'great heap' Norden describes," he explained. "Given that he was also pretty bad at estimating heights, to judge by his estimates of known objects, so closely does this hypothesis fit that it seems unlikely that any other solution would work as well."
The author pointed out, however, that Vyse also observed how Norden apparently "entirely overlooked" two satellite pyramids.
"Might they have been partially buried in the sand? I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to how Norden missed two pyramids," Colavito added.