Now we'll move upward to look at the last two branches of the external carotid artery. The highest part of the external carotid artery lies within the deepest part of the parotid gland, which has been removed in this dissection.
This branch is the superficial temporal artery. Just as it arises, it gives off this branch, the transverse facial. The superficial temporal artery then runs upwards and laterally, emerging from behind the neck of the mandible. It crosses the zygomatic process of the temporal bone just in front of the external ear, which we'll add to the picture. The superficial temporal artery continues within the superficial temporal fascia, branching to supply the upper and lateral parts of the scalp.
To see the final branch of the external carotid, the maxillary artery, we'll remove this transverse facial artery. Here's the start of the maxillary artery. It arises as the continuation of the external carotid, behind and medial to the neck of the mandible. It passes forwards. To follow it , we'll remove the masseter, the zygomatic arch, the temporalis muscle, and the ramus of the mandible.
This brings us into the infratemporal fossa. This is the lateral pterygoid muscle. It's been divided here. The maxillary artery runs forward, passing either below the lateral pterygoid muscle, as it does here, or through it.
The maxillary artery has many branches. These include branches to the muscles of mastication, and alveolar branches to the upper and lower jaws. This important early branch, the middle meningeal artery, passes upward. It goes through this opening in the bone, the foramen spinosum.
From the foramen spinosum, which is here, the middle meningeal artery fans out, creating these grooves on the inside of the cranium. The middle meningeal artery runs within the thickness of the dura. It supplies the dura, and much of the skull.
We'll return to where we were, on the maxillary artery. Here it gives off an infra-orbital branch that passes through the inferior orbital fissure. Then the maxillary artery turns medially, entering the pterygo-maxillary fissure, where it ends by branching to supply the lining of the nasal cavity, and the palate.