How does human history fit in with the Torah's timeline?
Not even worrying about why the universe and Earth look so old, there is extensive evidence of a human population and human civilizations from well before 4000 BCE (i.e. 6000 years ago, there were more than two humans). Human fossils (that is to say Homo sapiens as opposed to other hominids that existed around and well before this time) and artifacts dating back as far as 200,000 years have been found in Africa, Eurasia, and Australia, and more recent artifacts and fossils (still tens of thousands of years old) have been found in the Americas. Egyptian pyramids (and proto-pyramids) were built both before and after the time of the Mabul (Noah's flood) (confirmed by carbon dating) as well as other Mesopotamian and Indus writing forms that are found to be both from before and after the time of the Mabul, as well as proto-Chinese characters that pose evidence of a single evolving culture that spans pre-Creation, pre-Flood, post-Flood, and modern day China. These are just some examples I've found when attempting to research early human history. I can edit this question with sources detailing as much evidence of this as is requested, or I can reference you to Google to find encyclopedia articles and scholarly journals or the Smithsonian's Human Origins Program or something, or we can proceed with the assumption that this is in fact almost universally accepted as confirmed and consistant records of human history.
Anyway, I'm having a hard time reconciling this account of human civilization that extends well before Creation and continues steadily even through the Mabul, which should have wiped out civilization, with the Torah. Here are the possibilities I can personally think of or that have been suggested to me with varying levels of support from authoritative sources, but none of them so far work for me:
Archeologists and anthropologists (as well as geologists, physicists, cosmologists, biologists, geneticists, and any other line of empirical scientific knowledge that separately and consistently supports it) are part of a massive anti-religious conspiracy. However I think such a massive conspiracy theory is untenable and would be difficult to demonstrate.
Archeologists and anthropologists are all a victim of misinformation as during and before the Mabul, life on Earth was so different as to systematically confuse all methods of dating. However this also doesn't make sense to me, as it implies that while life on Earth really is fully recent, that the rest of the universe must actually be really old since we can see objects from billions of light years away, and the Mabul couldn't impact the speed of light. And what's more, if you can only rely on dating from post-Mabul organic matter, then it raises questions about various inconsistencies. If the pyramids, for example, were of a post-Mabul society (as they are known to be), you should not find C14 dating of organic matter found in or with the pyramids to point to anything before the flood. One way or another the pyramids are from before the flood (and civilization there and around the world continues like normal).
Hashem wanted to make everything look completely natural so he made Earth with a history. However the known significant human population from well before Adam would mean he was not the first man, and it would go so far as to imply that one should never ever expect any kind of evidence for anything in the Torah which has its own problems. Worse, it would be hard to answer this without painting Hashem as deceitful unless it can be clearly demonstrated from the intended meaning of Talmudic or similar sources that Adam wasn't the first man and that the Mabul didn't wipe out any civilizations. (Actually, I have heard reference to 974 worlds or generations before ours, but when I tried to dig deeper all I found was a Beraisa in Chagigah 14a about them being generations that were not created, but instead that their souls are the wicked among actual generations. And I have also seen reference to Zevachim 113 to say that there is precedent to say the flood was not completely global, but all it brings is a single opinion that makes the exception only for Eretz Yisrael and even then says that everyone there died. That is to say, all cultures, and most evidence of most of the world, would still have been destroyed in the flood.)
As referenced in part of my objection to #3 above, this Earth had hundreds of "worlds" living on it before hand and Hashem destroyed them all in preparation of this world. However, while I have heard this claim, I couldn't find anything to back up that such worlds were literally created in a sequential natural form that mirrors the observed natural formation of the solar system and life. The best I found (which is not to say it is good) is an article from Aish that takes the words of Rav Abahu and allows for a vague inference that they did exist on a previous version of this planet that was destroyed to the point it was formless yet still maintains a coherent line of archaeological evidence of human civilization. Or perhaps Aish meant that in some early period of the sixth day there were (somehow and for some reason? I couldn't really follow what they were trying to say) precursors to humans without souls. (I'm also incredulous to the possibility that Hashem would in this way need to make so many living beings and people only to kill them in the process of making Earth, especially when only to recreate everything in six days anyway.) In any event it only could explain the difference between the first six days of creation with human history older than 6,000 years ago without addressing the events that followed like the Mabul.
A suggestion by Dr. Gerald Schroeder, who says time, from the point of view of Earth, slowed down dramatically from the point of view of Hashem (who is assumed to have the same time perspective as background radiation), and it is in some particular way calculated that the first day of creation was exactly 8 billion years, the second day 4 billion, and so on. And that this supports an old age of the universe and the formation of the solar system and life over long periods of time. However as far as I can tell, from a perspective of physics, Schroeder is alone in this understanding, and as far as I can tell the same can be said of the Torah perspective. And it would go against the suggestion that the Torah is written in the language of men. And it contradicts the more recent improvements to the estimate of the age of the universe since Schroeder made his calculation around the turn of the century. His calculation also contradicts the order and time that various aspects of the universe, solar system, and life developed. And as is the case with suggestion #4, this only addresses human history before 6,000 years ago.
So as you can see I'm having trouble figuring this out. What are some better, or what is the proper, explanation(s) to deal with human history as stated in the Torah and human history as implied by the physical evidence?
NOTE: For answers stating that the Torah does not in fact literally mean a global flood or that human history started 6000 years ago: Please cite specific people that say this, preferably older answers based on messorah and not answers that were forced to bend around a context of archeological evidence. If you reference people like Schroeder or Slifkin who bend Torah around science, go further and quote the relevant things they've said along with the older sources they're basing themselves on that allow for such bending. Furthermore, please indicate why this is not taught mainstream (at least in my personal experience, learning about Berashis from various people and sources, I was never taught that human history was before 4000 BCE or that the flood could have left most of Earth undisturbed). If this is the proper understanding, it should be taught as such, I think, rather than cause people to be led astray after finding the literal interpretation to be seemingly incorrect.