Steady flow measurements were carried out in a rigid three-dimensional model of the human carotid artery bifurcation at a Reynolds number of 640 and a flow division ratio of . Both axial and secondary velocities were measured with a laser-Doppler anemometer. In the bulb opposite to the flow divider a zone with negative axial velocities was found with a maximal diameter of about 60% of the local diameter of the branch and a cross-sectional extent of about 25% of the local cross-sectional area. In the bulb the maximum axial velocity shifted towards the divider wall and at the end of the bulb an axial velocity plateau arose near the non-divider wall. Halfway through the bulb, secondary flow showed a vortex through which fluid flowed towards the divider wall near the bifurcation plane and back towards the non-divider wall near the upper walls.