Asterion (anatomy)

The asterion is the point on the skull corresponding to the posterior end of the parietomastoid suture.

Side view of head, showing surface relations of bones. (Asterion visible at center right.)
Anatomical terminology


In human anatomy, the asterion is a visible, so-called craniometric, point on the exposed skull, just behind the ear, where three cranial sutures meet:

or where three cranial bones meet:

In the adult, it lies 4 cm behind and 12 mm above the center of the entrance to the ear canal.

Clinical significance

Neurosurgeons use this point to orient themselves, in order to plan safe entry into the skull for some operations, such as retro-sigmoid approach.[1]


The asterion receives its name from the Greek ἀστέριον (astērion), meaning "star" or "starry".

The Mercedes point is an alternative term for the asterion, for its resemblance to the Mercedes-Benz logo.


  1. Babacan S, Yildiz-Yilmaz M, Kafa IM, Coşkun I (2019). "The Surface and Intracranial Location of Asterion". J Craniofac Surg. 30 (8): e753–e755. doi:10.1097/SCS.0000000000005757.
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