Modern society lives much better than civilizations did 2000 years ago. There were no modern conveniences nor advanced medical treatments like today. Even the rich did not live as well as the average person does today. There is simply no comparison to how people lived 2000 years ago, because so much has improved in the world.
Archaeology is a fascinating field because it can uncover incredible sites that reveal how humankind lived many thousands (or hundreds of thousands) years ago. These sites also reveal just how far humankind has come over the course of human history. We have made remarkable progress in the fields of medicine and technology, both of which have improved our quality of life.
This isn't even a debate. Modern Medicine. The debate should be over and done with right there. I do not care how lavish an ancient site is, the people there still died of now preventable diseases. I would rather live healthily today, than lavishly sick 2,000 years ago. Healthcare people!
Scientists and statisticians tell us that we live objectively better lives but human life is based on subjective experience of the world. We live longer and can fight off more ailments but that does not mean that the quality of life is any better. We are too distracted by technology and money to truly enjoy our lives.