The presence of a bony bridge in the (bridging trait) hypoglossal canal, with five different modes, was investigated in 25 adult male Byzantine (13th century) skulls. First, we reevaluated the viability of proposed classification schemes, then for the first time, provided information on the structural features of this part of the occipital bone in a population of Asia Minor. Analysis of the data revealed minor differences in the Byzantine population compared to those previously investigated. Diverse geographical sources may be beneficial in understanding the role of developmental and genetic factors in bridging trait. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.