You and 1000-2000 unprepared and untrained settlers are stranded in an uninhabited area that has never had any human development. If you had nothing but the knowledge of how things work and are created, a very few makeshift tools, roughly what industrial level of technology would be able to be created in 5-10 years.
Barring any natural disasters and working on the premise that everything goes according to plan.
I'm not looking for an exact answer of say 1825 AD industrial level, as a lot of our technological development was hindered by societal restrictions. I'm after a rough ballpark idea of say 'pre-roman bronze age', early iron age, middle-ages, renaissance, industrial revolution industrial levels etc. etc.
In the far-future, a bunch of ill-prepared tourists and refugees have crash landed on a liveable planet in an 'emergency craft' that has emergency rations, medical supplies, etc. They have enough to survive ~ 6 months to a year. They were not prepared for becoming 'settlers' and have no extensive preparation for the situation at hand. They have sent up a beacon sending SOS signals. They have no way of knowing if it's being heard and answered or not. They are waiting for rescue. All they have to do in the meantime is survive...it could take many years, if at all.
Resources at hand:
The ships have a few high tech machines for specific tasks such as replicating ration food, medical equipment (maybe an xray or high tech portable MRI...I haven't figured out exactly what but compact and highly specialised is the key here), some surveying equipment. It has a very small seed reserve (for situations just like this), no large farming tools, no tools to make other tools. Maybe a handful of smaller farming tools, or at least items that could be fashioned into small farming tools like knifes, hatchets, scythes and hoes etc. These small tools, will wear out and need replacing fairly quickly.
In the group of 1000-2000 people, you have some scientists, some engineers and master-craftsman, some outdoors types and some farmers, some skilled manual labourers, mostly other trades (tourism, hospitality and administration etc), and people who have no real skills at all. They will have some guidance from people who sort of know what they are doing on how to survive, at least at first. They have lots of people with no specific 'useful' skillsets so they have plenty of manpower.
The Settlers also have an extensive computer databank providing knowledge on how to create tools, as well as how to create the tools to create the tools they will need from scratch, as well as farming best practises and how to grow crops etc. Technological knowledge loss is not an issue in this particular scenario.
The ships are not designed for extended use, and cannot power itself for any length of time, especially if damaged during re-entry or during later scavenging. High tech toys include a few rifles, some sort of perimeter warning device, and one or two types of heating sources. These heating gadgets could possible reach the necessary level for use in a forge. Nearly all high tech toys will be reduced to useless paperweights in a matter of weeks with no recharging. There is the possibility of several advanced solar panels to supply enough energy to power the database and some of the medical tech. They won't have the tech to be able to recreate more solar panels to increase power anytime soon.
The local alien wildlife has never seen humans and some are relatively tame but not domesticated. They will allow the approach of humans, and some may even allow humans to touch them, but being yoked to a wagon or plough is not yet feasible. With a focussed breeding program, it could take anywhere from 10-20 generations to domesticate the local wildlife. Depending on the growth and maturity rates of the wildlife this could be anywhere from 10-60 years. The 'Settlers' are going to be reliant on manpower in the short-term.
Humans are ingenious when it comes to survival situations and will be able to scavenge and transform items from one intended use to another, especially with several dozen scientists and engineers around. A few items, they won't be able to, or won't want to scavenge such as the medical tech and computer database. They will be able to scavenge some hard wearing metals and materials from the ships damaged hull, but not a lot. Just enough to get them started.
So, the 'Settlers' initially have 'no' specialised tools, and no animal power. They have manpower, some skilled people who can learn new specialised crafts and they have access to knowledge on how to farm and how to create tools. They combine all their resources and energy into surviving for the long-term worst case scenario...no rescue.
Working from scratch, what sort of 'stable' technological industrial level could they expect to reach in the short-term? let's say 5-10 years when the first animals start to become domesticated.
Resources they will need:
- Besides air, water and safety from unknown predators.
- They will need to be able to find metal ores, extract the metal, shape the metal, create tools to create the tools.
- They will need to use their created tools for farming. Let's assume familiar Earth like farming conditions (for the sake of the question).
- They will need to find the alien equivalent of grass cereals and start the seed cultivation and domestication process (but this is not vital, as we harvested wild cereals for thousands of years). They also have a small seed reserve if nothing is found.
- They need to figure out of the alien wildlife is consumable and start hunting meat. Shouldn't be too hard at first as the animals have no fear of humans. Yes, Hunting accidents will ensue.
Note: We can't really use real colonial history, as most, if not all, colonies had 'all' necessary supplies pre-provided and 'regular' resupply for a lot of supplies/industrial equipment that the colony could not yet reproduce 'on-site'.
I'm trying to figure out what level of industry to drop my far-future people to. I know the technology level that can be recreated will drop dramatically as the industrial infrastructure will need to be created from scratch. And I'm not really focussing on how far it will drop from, what personal expertise will be needed or what resources will be needed or even how many of my settlers will be involved in production or even what are the minimum requirements for an off-world colony as this last one didn't focus on tool manufacturing or technology/industry level. What I'm focussing on is how far they could crawl back up the industrial ladder provided they had access to all technological theories and data. I need to figure out my starting point before I let them advance or fall further due to unforeseen alien encounters!!
Would they immediately recover and reach an industrial level, or is more likely they end up in a Middle-ages or even earlier industrial period?
EDIT: clarified I'm after the industrial level not the theoretical technology level that they may know. So they may know how to make an atom bomb or a space craft engine but what sort of physical industrial level would they be able to recreate with no pre-existing infrastructure and just the theoretical technology knowledge to help them.