These unusual columns, their shafts in the form of twisted spirals, were part of the Tetrapylon, the ornamental gateway to Aphrodisias. The original structure had four groups of four columns with this spiral fluting. Like the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite, little had survived, and by the mid-19th century this linked pair was all that remained standing. The surrounding rubble was subsequently to be thoroughly excavated, and the Tetrapylon has since been re-erected, completed as late as 1990. Again a stork's nest can be seen perched on top of the entablature.
The twisted columns of Aphrodisias must have fascinated Girault de Prangey as the archive contains ten studies from various aspects, including details. With the exception of two half-plate daguerreotypes they are all in his smaller formats. One other sixth-plate study is in the collection of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.