- Associate Professor
- Biological Anthropology
- Anthropology and Geography
- Ph.D. in Evolutionary Anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2010 M.A. in Taphonomy, African Prehistory, and Carnivore Ecology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2006 B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2001
Dr. Pante is a paleoanthropologist interested in the feeding behavior of early members of the human genus (Homo). His current research is focused on understanding the impact of meat and marrow consumption on human evolution through the study of 0.9-1.8-million-year-old fossil assemblages at the world-famous site Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. These assemblages coincide with a technological revolution that occurred when our ancestors abandoned the first and most primitive stone technology, called the Oldowan, and began to produce more sophisticated stone tools known as Acheulean handaxes. This transition was a pivotal moment in human evolution and is associated with the appearance of a new species, Homo erectus, and with a dietary shift towards increasing carnivory that may have been central to the evolution of our own species, Homo sapiens. Dr. Pante has also made important methodological contributions to paleoanthropology by developing a novel method for identifying feeding marks left on fossils by humans and carnivores. The method employs high-resolution 3-D scanners typically used in the semi-conductor industry to create measurable models of experimentally created marks on modern bones surfaces to quantify their characteristics for comparisons with marks found on fossils. More recently, Dr. Pante has begun studying the origins and evolution of cannibalism among our ancestors in Africa and Europe. This research has taken him to Krapina rock shelter in Croatia where the origin of cut marks on neandertal fossils has been variously interpreted as ritual behavior, cannibalism, or the result of roof fall from the rock shelter where the bones were discovered. Dr. Pante hopes to resolve these disagreements through a thorough analysis of marks on the fossils and comparison with the traces left by human butchery of animal bones.
Prehistoric archaeology; zooarchaeology; paleoanthropology; taphonomy; paleodiet; stable isotope ecology; human evolution
ANTH365, Quantifying Anthropology