Anatomical Study of Tympanic Dehiscence (Foramen of Huschke) in the Archaeological Population of Tutuquén, Maule Region, Chile

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Pérez Riffo, Marcos; Lindner Sanhueza, Cristian & Olave, Enrique


The tympanic dehiscence or Foramen of Huschke (FH) is considered a transient minor, hypostosic, non- stochastic cranial feature, located in the tympanic plate of the tem- poral bone. Its expression is considered physiological until the age of five, and its presence is constant after that. This characteristic is seldom mentioned in anatomical literature since it is infrequent in modern populations. However, there is a difference when archaeological populations are studied. The purpose of this study is to describe the expression of the Huschke foramen in an archaeological population of central Chile. For this analysis, 27 temporal bones were obtained from human skeletal remains of the Tutuquén Cemetery Archaeological Monument. Presence and location of the foramen, sex, time period and age range were evaluated for each sample. The FH occurred in 77.78 % of the temporal bones, with 47.62 % male, 28.57 % female and 23.81 % of undetermined sex. All children and subadults presented FH, while in adults it decreased to 68.42 %. The location was 38.10 % in the inferomedial quadrant, 33.33 % superolateral, 23.81 % superomedial, 4.71 % central, and no FH was found at the inferolateral position. The only temporal bone identified in the 10,000 BP (before the present 1950) presented FH, while in the 7,000 BP period, it presented in 6/7 temporal bones and in the 1000 BP period, it was found in 14/ 19 temporal bones. The data provided complements anatomical knowledge of the tympanic bone ossification process, and in archaeological population studies, tympanic dehiscence presents as a lesser morphological characteristic.

KEY WORDS: Temporal bone; Anatomy; Skull; Ear canal; Tympanic dehiscence.

How to cite this article

PÉREZ, R. M.; LINDNER, S. C. & OLAVE, E. Anatomical study of tympanic dehiscence (Foramen of Huschke) in the archaeological population of Tutuquén, Maule Region. Chile. Int. J. Morphol., 38(6):1676-1680, 2020.