Background: To study normal or pathological neuromuscular control, a musculoskeletal model of the neck has great potential but a complete and consistent anatomical dataset which comprises the muscle geometry parameters to construct such a model is not yet available. Methods: A dissection experiment was performed on the left side of one 50th percentile male embalmed specimen. Geometrical data including muscle attachment sites were digitized using an Optotrak measurement system and laser diffraction was used to determine muscle sarcomere lengths. Bony landmarks were recorded and joint centres of rotation between different vertebrae were estimated using literature data. Findings: A total of 34 muscle parts of the neck were divided in 129 elements per body side. Muscle attachment sites, mass, physiological cross sectional area, fibre length, tendon length and optimal fibre length for each element are supplied as digital annexes to the paper. Results are coherent with other studies and new data are provided for several smaller muscles not reported elsewhere. Interpretation: Implementation of this dataset into a neck model is likely to improve the estimation of muscle forces and thus increase the model validity; this makes future neck models more suitable for the use as clinical tools. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.