The anatomy of the temporal bone is complicated and difficult, but a definite knowledge is essential not only to the student but to the aural surgeon. The relationship of the various nerves and vessels to the middle ear, eustachian tube and labyrinth is at times difficult to visualize, and cross-sections of the bone itself are sometimes confusing.
Anatomic specimens of the macerated and dried temporal bone are usually made by means of the gouge, saw, dental burr or a combination of these instruments. This, of course, applies to gross anatomy and not to microscopic sections or to corrosion casts.
In working by means of a gouge and mallet with a temporal bone in a vise, it is not always a simple matter to open up and expose all the cells of the mastoid. If the bone is dry and brittle, the specimen not infrequently cracks or breaks before the operation
G. E. TREMBLE. DECALCIFICATION OF THE TEMPORAL BONE FOR DISSECTION. Arch Otolaryngol. 1930;11(5):580–582. doi:10.1001/archotol.1930.03560050054003