Still not convinced, just because we choose not to do something or invest the effort required it don't mean Aliens/Atlanteans etc. had the knack. Is it not possible that their mind set was such that the effort required was not only worthwhile it was a requirement demanded of them by religious beliefs that dominated their every day.
Remember, the Mayans indulged in mass human sacrifice and the Egyptian Phaeroh would almost bankrupt his country preparing for his funeral with its use of gold and jewellery, not something you see much of today either.
Don't want to be a wet blanket on this but how about just giving the Ancients credit where credit is due.