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Pretty much every ancient culture I've studied explicitly believes that aspects of their creation tradition and/or civilizing skills were taught, brought or given to them in ancient times, including the ancient Egyptians - who claim such things as that their hieroglyphic language was given to them. In many cases, such as in India, the Kaballah, and among the Dogon, Bambara, etc., included as part and parcel of this "given" information are descriptions of the formation of the universe, matter, and life that are, at the very least, entirely reasonable based on current scientific thinking. In some cases, the topics touched on extend somewhat beyond our own current scientific discussion to such things as how an act of perception causes matter in its wavelike state to suddenly behave like particles.
My feeling is that there is no viable candidate in ancient times we can propose to have relayed this type of information who has much more crediblity, from the traditional scientific perspective, than aliens in the traditional Sci-Fi sense.
Furthermore, in my experience, most traditional studies fail to even address the many overt statements on the part of ancient cultures that claim assistance in ancient times. Most often, that piece of the testimony is simply dismissed without serious discussion.