There is so much "forgotten" ancient knowledge, so many similarities across different cultures in many myths, some of different names, but when you boil it all down there is more sameness in the myths than there are dissimilarities.
I have posted threads regarding "Cultural Amnesia" and the "Hall of Records / Cottrell", explored all the petroglyphs left world wide in Xenus' thread "Petroglyphs" that all show that somehow all these ancient cultures basically believed in the same things and had eerily similar construction designs.
So, the idea that there were previous "worlds" as civilized as our own is not so far fetched when you start really exploring this idea.
Here is an article I found when exploring a post about Pittsburgh being a "sacred" area according to Indian legends in the upcoming transition to the Fifth and final World. I didn't see where Pittsburgh comes into play but thought this info was interesting about the prior worlds.
[link to www.mayanmajix.com]
Let us examine in more detail what those master keepers of oral tradition, the Hopi, reveal about our previous Worlds. 
The First World was called Tokpela ("Endless Space"). The First People understood that although they had human parents, their real parents were the universal entities which had created them through their parents: Father Sun and Mother Earth. Each learned that they had two aspects: as a member of an earthly family and clan, and as a citizen of the great universe. Gradually the First People forgot to respect their creator. They began to use the vibratory centers of their body [chakras] only for earthly purposes. They began to perceive differences and separation between people and animals, and between different ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. The animals began to draw away from people. The First People began to divide up and draw away from each other. They became warlike and fought. The First World’s fatal flaw, then, was forgetting the unifying Oneness of all creation.
But there were a few in every group who held to the original spiritual enlightened path. These were directed by Spirit to migrate to a special underground location. Then, the First World was destroyed by fire: volcanoes erupting and fire raining down from the sky, until there was nothing left but the few faithful people inside the Earth.
After a long time the world cooled off, and a Second World emerged. There was land where water had been, and water where land had been. When the faithful remnant emerged from underground, there was nothing to remind them of the previous wicked world.
They emerged into the Second World, Tokpa ("Dark Midnight"), a big land. The people spread across the land. They communicated telepathically. But this time, the animals stayed apart from them. As the Second World people developed material goods to barter, they became greedy, and traded for things they didn’t need and became avaricious. They began to quarrel and fight, and wars broke out. The Second World’s fatal flaw, then, was absorption in greed and materialism.
But again, there were a few people who kept faithful to the path of spiritual awareness. And, again, Spirit directed these people to go to a safe underground place. Then Spirit commanded the twin entities who safeguard the Earth’s North and South Poles to leave their posts and stop keeping the Earth properly rotating. The Earth teetered off balance, spun around crazily, and rolled over twice. Mountains plunged into seas with a great splash; seas and lakes sloshed over the land. Then the world became cold and lifeless, and froze into solid ice.
Eventually, Spirit ordered the polar entities back to the ends of the Earth’s axis. With a great splintering of ice and a shudder, the Earth began rotating again. The ice melted, and the world warmed to life.
Spirit created the Third World, Kuskurza [meaning lost over time][Mu?], arranging land and seas, mountains and plains, and all forms of life. Then Spirit sent a message to the few faithful people underground that it was time to emerge. These survivors multiplied and created great cities, eventually countries, and a whole civilization. But then they became completely occupied with their own earthly plans. They created craft shaped like a shield that could fly, and used them to fly to big cities and attack them. Soon many peoples and countries were engaged in aerial warfare. These Third People also engaged in degraded sexual practices. The Third World’s fatalflaw, then, was misusing flight for aerial warfare and misusing sex for promiscuity.
So Spirit directed the few people who lived according to wisdom that they should build vessels and store food in them. Then rainwater was loosed all over the Earth. Waves higher than mountains rolled in upon the land. Continents broke asunder and sank beneath the seas.
Meanwhile, Spirit directed the faithful survivors to travel first to one, then to another island, until finally they reached the Fourth World, Tuwaqachi ("Complete World"). After they had hopscotched across the islands to arrive in the Fourth World, those islands sank into the sea.
That Fourth World is this present world we live in. The survivors spread across the broad lands, and gradually began building up the high civilizations which surround us today. Since this Fourth World is the one we have grown up in, we are aware of the behaviors of those in it. It can accurately be said that, after an initial time of fidelity to the path of wise consciousness, many have fallen into a low level of consciousness. In fact, it can honestly be stated that many people of this Fourth World have fallen into the fatal flaws of the three previous Worlds: forgetting the Oneness of all creation, sinking into greed and materialism, and engaging in promiscuity and aerial mass warfare. But we have added an additional serious element: mass destruction of Earth and its ecological systems. Thus, the Fourth World’s fatal flaws are: all of the previous Worlds’ ones, plus ecocide, the killing of one’s own environment.
And now this Fourth World is coming to an end. Some of the signs indicating this are: extinctions of plant and animal species; poisoning of lands by toxic materials; pollution of the seas; and thinning of the upper atmosphere, "ozone holes", letting in excessive ultraviolet energy, which in turn is killing plant life, causing cancer in humans, and die-offs of phytoplankton, the source of 90%of the oxygen necessary for life. Global warming is destabilizing climates, and upsetting the ecosystems that plants, animals and humans live in.
(more at link)