Some thoughts while reading several pages this morning
On Setting The Technology Clock Back:
If anything seriously disrupts our current state of technology and sets us back to (say) about 1700, there will likely be no possibility of recovering. We have just used up or dispersed too many of the world's resources. In a bit over 100 years we have used up a huge fraction of the available fossil fuels. In order to build a tool you need a simpler tool, but also access to materials. Some of the important metals are becoming rare. Oil production is falling even now. Yet Cugan are 10000 years in the future. Even without a collapse, the tech world we know may not have been possible to sustain so long (without replenishment of some things from asteroids, say). To sustain a civilization like ours you need access in bulk, but dispersion (using chrome on car bumpers, say) makes it nearly impossible to accumulate enough after a collapse.
The current situation with Cugan is that the Med has been evaporating for about 1000 years. There is no technology at their home site, so we can surmise there is no technology anywhere. The population of the world is likely small (less/no farming tech) and dispersed. Tribal rather than city based.
But paper lasts, so not all knowledge would be lost (most likely). Just the ability to exploit it. Read Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban (again). It took me two readings to really grok it.
The above simply shows the idiocy of pricing natural resources at the cost to extract them, rather than their overall impact on the planet and their future value and best use. It is why we have global warming. Oil/coal is too cheap and the price charged depends on passing on the real costs to everyone else.
On Living Near the Bottom of an Evaporated Mediterranean:
This article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messinian_Salinity_Crisis
suggests that the temperature at Cugan's original home might be 80C or 176F (40C below sea level temp). They would have to be pretty tough to survive it.
On the Rate of Filling:
The recent article cited here (from MIT, I think) and this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanclean_flood
) suggests that the basin filled in a few months (not years). The rate of rise would be about 10m (30 feet) per day. You'd better be quick to keep ahead of it. You'd better not get stranded on a local hill. A boat wouldn't help you since you'd have to stay on it for 2 months at least with little chance of resupply.
Lurking. Watching. Thinking. Writing. Waiting.
-- Charlie Grumbles