This thing called a bodhran is a typical frame drum, common to many cultures throughout the ages. In many cultures, it was/is referred to as a "Shamans' Drum". Sometimes, as in most native american cultures, it was used exclusively for ceremonial purposes. Other cultures no doubt had multiple uses for it. Being made of wood and hide, it isn't the kind of thing likely to survive long enough to be found by an archeologist. Seems like I've read that there are some depictions thought to represent frame drums in some "cave art" locales.
Interestingly, I can find no mention of the bodhran in Tomas O'Canainn's "Traditional Music in Ireland" (ISBN 0-946005-73-7), although it is included in the cover photo of instruments commonly found today in ensembles playing "traditional" Irish music.