In 1836 some labourers cleaning a ditch at Roos Carr, near Withernsea in East Yorkshire made a surprising discovery. About two metres below the surface they came across a collection of well-preserved wooden objects including several 'warrior' figures with stone eyes, a wooden box, a serpent-headed boat, and various other wooden articles 'too much decayed to remove'.
Four of the figures; together with the boat and various other attachments which seemed to be arms, paddles and shields; were given to the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society and eventually became part of the collections of Hull Museums. A fifth figure was acquired by the museum in 1902. One of the men present at the time of the discovery had apparently given the 'ancient doll' to his daughter to play with!