Prehistoric Cave Paintings 18,000 B.C. -- cave paintings were part of the shamanic rituals performed by early man to ask forgiveness from the hunted animals and to insure success in the hunt. Hunting was a dangerous occupation in early times. Even a small scratch could become lethally infected, and a large wound was almost always deadly. Cooperation of totems, gods and animal spirits were helpful in avoiding such tribal disasters. No tribe could afford to be without its hunters.