The variability of the origin of the anterior tympanic artery was investigated in 104 individuals of both sexes. A surprising laterality was found: thus, while the left anterior tympanic artery originated as a singular vessel from either the maxillary or the superficial temporal artery with almost equal frequencies (44.7 and 45.9%, respectively), the right anterior tympanic artery predominantly branched off from the maxillary artery (77.8% of cases). Besides the origin from either the maxillary artery or the superficial temporal artery, also anterior tympanic arteries branching off from the external carotid artery were found to occur (4% on the left and 1% on the right side). Although in the majority of individuals, a singular anterior tympanic artery occurred within the infratemporal fossa, duplications of the anterior tympanic artery were found to be present: in one case on the right and in 8 cases on their left side. In 1 female individual, a triplet of left anterior tympanic arteries was found to supply the tympanic cavity. Also in these cases, the anterior tympanic artery arose from either the external carotid, the superficial temporal or the maxillary artery. In singular cases, even several other branches of the maxillary artery, viz. the deep auricular, middle, and accessory meningeal, as well as the posterior deep temporal, inferior alveolar and masseteric arteries were found to form common trunks with the anterior tympanic artery.