Dr. Peter Pope

    The staff of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of eminent archaeologist and historian Dr. Peter Pope. Dr. Pope was a long time researcher in CNS dating back to his M.A. (1986) and Ph.D (1992) work on seventeenth century Ferryland. He began teaching in the Dept. of History at Memorial University but later joined the Archaeology Unit, eventually becoming Head of the Dept. of Anthropology and Archaeology and an Honorary Research Professor. He was also director of the Newfoundland Archaeological Heritage Outreach Program. In 2001, he was awarded the President’s Award for Outstanding Research in recognition of his achievements in uncovering the past and preserving it for future generations. To him the award meant that “…the university appreciates the kind of inter-disciplinary work historical archaeologists do and that it continues to support research in the social and historical sciences.” He was an award winning author as well, earning praise for works such as Fish into Wine and The Many Landfalls of John Cabot. Fish into Wine is such a meticulous work of scholarship that in CNS, we consider it a reference tool. He will be remembered for his impeccable research covering a wide array of topics including Breton ceramics, John Cabot, waterfront archaeology, the early cod fishery, French material history and so much more. Candace Cochrane told us that "More than anyone he brought the history and meaning of the French Shore to the people who lived there by helping them discover it through what was lying under their feet, on their beaches, in their sheds, and their stories. A pretty big accomplishment". Joan Ritcey, Head of CNS, described how Dr. Pope gave lectures on the same topic twice in one day at a symposium but made them completely different, equally fascinating and enlightening. Dr. Pope will be sorely missed. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.


    Mack Furlong (unauthenticated)
    Apr 5, 2017

    Peter was enthusiastic about everything and knowledgeable about most of it. If he didn't know, he would ask questions until he found out more. A poet, playwright, woodworker, carpenter, renovator, architect, saxophonist, farmer, gardener, antique auto fan, educator, historian, archaeoligist, and bon vivant, Peter was the smartest person I ever met.

    Linda Kealey (unauthenticated)
    Apr 5, 2017

    Greg and I are very sad to hear of Peter's death. As a Memorial grad student and then colleague Peter always challenged our thinking and made significant contributions through his work which blended historical research with archaeology. He will be missed by so many. Condolences to family and friends.

    Michael BATT (unauthenticated)
    Apr 6, 2017

    It was with great sadness that my wife (Christine Jablonski) and I learnt of the death of Peter's death. We first met him and his wife Geneviève in 2004 on his visit to Brittany during his hunt for the origins of the ceramics that he had identified on Newfoundland. He showed us a rim sherd of pottery from Ferryland asking "do you recognise this ?" - which we did from it's distinctive fabric. So we took him down to Saint-Jean-la-Poterie where there was a rescue excavation underway on a kiln dating to the 13th century. Some 100 metres away we showed him a pile of wasters from the post-medieval productions of Saint-Jean. He found exact matches to his sherd - "this discovery has paid for my trip over!!" We went on to publish in 2008 a paper in Post Medieval Archaeology on Breton earthernwares in Newfoundland. We remained in contact since, Peter and Geneviève calling to see us when ever possible on their visits to France. In 2013 Peter contributed to an important exposition here in Rennes "Terre-Neuve/Terre-Neuvas, l'aventure de la Pêche Morutière". Later, my wife who visits Saint-Pierre and Miquelon regularly, met up with Peter in Saint John's who guided her and her colleagues to Ferryland and other Newfoundland sites. Peter was present at a meeting on Saint-Pierre and Miquelon in 2016 to commemorate the return of the islands to France in 1816. Peter certainly opened new horizons to both of us with respect to North American archaeology and the archaeology of the early European settlements. He will be greatly missed by us. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

    Shirley Anne Scott (unauthenticated)
    Apr 6, 2017

    Such a brilliant and intimate knowledge of This Place!