The year 1938 in archaeology involved some significant events.
- Matthew Stirling first visits the Tres Zapotes and San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán sites.
- The Iron Age farmstead site at Little Woodbury, Wiltshire, England, by Gerhard Bersu for the Prehistoric Society using open area excavation techniques (continues to 1939; published 1940).
- Llantwit Major Roman Villa in Wales, by V. E. Nash-Williams (continues to 1948).
- The Neolithic settlement of Rinyo on Rousay in Orkney (Scotland), by V. Gordon Childe (resumed 1946).
- T. D. Kendrick - Anglo-Saxon Art to A.D. 900.
- Wilhelm König - "Ein Galvanisches Element aus der Partherzeit?". Forschungen und Fortschritte 14:8–9 (on the "Baghdad Battery").
- June - TM 1517, first remains of Paranthropus robustus, from Kromdraai fossil site in South Africa.
- Maya site of Caracol is rediscovered.
- Luther Cressman, the first to explore the region, discovers preserved 9,000-year-old shredded sage sandals at Fort Rock Cave in south central Oregon, USA. Until radiocarbon dating verifies his find, his belief has been that humans had occupied the area a maximum of 4,000 years ago.
- 'Barber surgeon of Avebury'.
- Bronze Head from Ife.
- March 8 - Lamia Al-Gailani Werr, Iraqi archaeologist (died 2019)
- October 4 - Gennady Zdanovich, Russian archaeologist (died 2020)
- Anthony Aveni, American anthropologist
- February 24 - Thomas Gann, British explorer and archaeologist (born 1867)
- August 9 - Leo Frobenius, German ethnologist (born 1873)
- ^ Broom, R. (1938). "The Pleistocene Anthropoid Apes of South Africa". Nature. 142 (3591): 377–339. Bibcode:1938Natur.142..377B. doi:10.1038/142377a0.
- ^ "Aveni, Anthony F. (Anthony Francis), 1938- - Full record view - Libraries Australia Search". nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2017-05-31.