- I don't think it's reasonable to presume the elves would need a substantial
industrial base to make use of very sophisticated technology. After all,
they live in a made world and have knowledge given to them by the makers.
Who knows what they could accomplish with that knowledge and the materials at
In the real world, Maya blue pigment, Damascus Steel and folded Japanese
swords are all examples of molecular engeneering by craftsmen without
knowledge of modern chemical theory or the industrial base we might presume
would be needed to carry out molecular enegeneering. In each case the
sophisticated molecular properties were achieved by stumbling on ways to make
use of materials available in the world. There's no reason to think the
elves could do the same, but much more so.
On the other hand, I think it's a real stretch to explain the powers of the
three elven rings as either divine or technological. Perhaps Celebrimbor
found a way to 'pervert' the devices of the enemy (that is, magic) to good?