It wouldn't be likely, but we can probably make it happen if we're willing to get a little creative and bend the requirements.
My first thought was the Shakers. These are an almost extinct sect of Quakers who lived in self sufficient communes in the US. The main problem they had, or perk... depending on how you look at it, was that they were all celibate. Which explains why they have almost become extinct. So perhaps an early religion put an emphasis on celibacy, and so many people don't choose to have children, and instead contribute to scientific works.
However, this may not work very well because in pre-industrial societies a large number of children are needed simply to offset deaths in childhood. Additionally in a pre-industrial society, given the inefficiency of agriculture, you need a lot of people working to provide for a few specialist workers. Though they will certainly need to devise some sort of agriculture in order to live in a small area with a higher population density, instead of a large area will low population density; which is typical of hunter gatherer nomads.
The bigger issue I fear is simply that in order to achieve technological progress at all you do need a large population spread over a large area. This enables them to have the numbers to support a variety of specialisations and experiences necessary for development. If your people aren't lucky to live near strategic resources, then I can't imagine they will get far technologically. In this small area... do they have all the metals and fossil fuels they need? Probably not.
Instead perhaps humanity spreads, achieves technological development, and then falls back to a safe place with limited resources after a catastrophic event; meaning they need to limit their numbers. The catastrophe could be anything. Meteor, super volcano, ice age, rising sea levels, nuclear war, global warming, a combination of the aforementioned?
Consider the fate of Easter Island; which was colonised, and then the population got too big, depleted the resources, and shrunk in size. But if resources were limited, how could they advance technologically? If the resources were plentiful, why would they not expand? Perhaps because the rest of the world is some sort of frozen or arid (maybe both?!) hellscape, and their little plot is the only safe oasis left.
Perhaps this event happened so long ago that they start to believe that they only ever lived in this small place, tinkering away with physics equations and machines ever after. They would probably still need access to the outside world, if briefly, to extract resources necessary for survival and technology. But if the rest of the world is a grim place they probably would have automated outposts from which they can collect resources, perhaps remotely, to limit exposure.