Henry Gray (18251861). Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918.
by the superior nuchal lines of the occipital; and laterally by the alveolar arch, the lower border of the zygomatic bone, the zygomatic arch and an imaginary line extending from it to the mastoid process and extremity of the superior nuchal line of the occipital. It is formed by the palatine processes of the maxillæ and palatine bones, the vomer, the pterygoid processes, the under surfaces of the great wings, spinous processes, and part of the body of the sphenoid, the under surfaces of the squamæ and mastoid and petrous portions of the temporals, and the under surface of the occipital bone. The anterior part or hard palate projects below the level of the rest of the surface, and is bounded in front and laterally by the alveolar arch containing the sixteen teeth of the maxillæ. Immediately behind the incisor teeth is the incisive foramen. In this foramen are two lateral apertures, the openings of the incisive canals (foramina of Stenson) which transmit the anterior branches of the descending palatine vessels, and the nasopalatine nerves. Occasionally two additional canals are present in the incisive foramen; they are termed the foramina of Scarpa and are situated in the middle line; when present they transmit the nasopalatine nerves. The vault of the hard palate is concave, uneven, perforated by numerous foramina, marked by depressions for the palatine glands, and traversed by a crucial suture formed by the junction of the four bones of which it is composed. In the young skull a suture may be seen extending on either side from the incisive foramen to the interval between the lateral incisor and canine teeth, and marking off the os incisivum or premaxillary bone. At either posterior angle of the hard palate is the greater palatine foramen, for the transmission of the descending palatine vessels and anterior palatine nerve; and running forward and medialward from it a groove, for the same vessels and nerve. Behind the posterior palatine foramen is the pyramidal process of the palatine bone, perforated by one or more lesser palatine foramina, and marked by the commencement of a transverse ridge, for the attachment of the tendinous expansion of the Tensor veli palatini. Projecting backward from the center of the posterior border of the hard palate is the posterior nasal spine, for the attachment of the Musculus uvulæ. Behind and above the hard palate are the choanæ, measuring about 2.5 cm. in their vertical and 1.25 cm. in their transverse diameters. They are separated from one another by the vomer, and each is bounded above by the body of the sphenoid, below by the horizontal part of the palatine bone, and laterally by the medial pterygoid plate of the sphenoid. At the superior border of the vomer may be seen the expanded alæ of this bone, receiving between them the rostrum of the sphenoid. Near the lateral margins of the alæ of the vomer, at the roots of the pterygoid processes, are the pharyngeal canals. The pterygoid process presents near its base the pterygoid canal, for the transmission of a nerve and artery. The medial pterygoid plate is long and narrow; on the lateral side of its base is the scaphoid fossa, for the origin of the Tensor veli palatini, and at its lower extremity the hamulus, around which the tendon of this muscle turns. The lateral pterygoid plate is broad; its lateral surface forms the medial boundary of the infratemporal fossa, and affords attachment to the Pterygoideus externus.
Behind the nasal cavities is the basilar portion of the occipital bone, presenting near its center the pharyngeal tubercle for the attachment of the fibrous raphé of the pharynx, with depressions on either side for the insertions of the Rectus capitis anterior and Longus capitis. At the base of the lateral pterygoid plate is the foramen ovale, for the transmission of the mandibular nerve, the accessory meningeal artery, and sometimes the lesser superficial petrosal nerve; behind this are the foramen spinosum which transmits the middle meningeal vessels, and the prominent spina angularis (sphenoidal spine), which gives attachment to the sphenomandibular ligament and the Tensor veli palatini. Lateral to the spina angularis is the mandibular fossa, divided into two parts by the petrotympanic fissure; the anterior portion, concave, smooth bounded in front by the articular tubercle,