A Nature Walk With: Ancient Digger

 Lauren Axelrod spends a lot of her life looking at the past. Archaeology, anthropology, and history are her subjects. Learning about the past helps us understand the present and perhaps gives some insight into the future. What does this have to do with nature? We explore that as we take a nature walk with Ancient Digger.

01. Welcome to Nature Center Magazine. We are all anxious to learn a little bit about you. Tell us what your blog is all about.

Ancient Digger is a website about archaeology, anthropology, and history. I originally started it with the intention of sharing my experiences as an Anthropology student, but it turned into something much more complex. The website is now syndicated nationally, and many of my articles have been used in the classroom. I typically publish my anthropology papers, as well as reviews of scholarly journal articles and books.

02. Everyone has their own unique story about what gave them the idea to start blogging. What is yours?

I had already been blogging for years prior to starting Ancient Digger. I just thought, why not share my unique experience as an anthropology student. It has been an avenue for me to share the do’s and don’t of anthropology school, as well as a place to post research. I honestly did it for fun in the beginning and I never considered it a job. Now, however, that is exactly what it has become. Ancient Digger is now a brand that I have to manage fulltime, as well as market to advertisers. I’m not complaining trust me. Ancient Digger has been paying my bills for years now, and it all started because I wanted to share a piece of myself.

03. What do you enjoy about nature and what benefits do you derive from it?

I love water. Any chance I have to be close to it, in it, or listening to, is the time when I feel most at ease. Water centers me. Living in Florida gives me an advantage, however. There’s nothing better than standing in a pool of water or the ocean in the middle of winter and reading about anthropology theory.

04. Each of us has our own way of being with nature. Some people hike, some take pictures, and some climb trees. How do you experience nature?

I love hiking, when I have the time. I also love taking pictures of nature. Any chance I have to visit a site off the beaten path here in Florida is a welcomed break from school and blogging. I always manage, however, to get a story out of it. That’s the blogger in me.

05. Tell us about the most exciting or scary nature related thing that ever happened to you.

Last year my fiancé and I stayed at a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. We were high in the mountains at around a 2200 foot elevation. We had a cabin full of family members and we were all asleep. My fiancé had awoken to a noise outside. It sounded like something was walking around on our wraparound porch. My fiancé came into the bedroom and told me he wanted to show me something. I looked out the glass doors, which faced the high peaks of the mountains, and what did I see? A bobcat staring right through the glass, with his nostrils pushed up against the glass. It was exhilarating and scary to say the least.

06. If you were to take us on a nature tour of your area where would you take us first?

I would probably take you to a hiking trail a few minutes from my home. There is a path that leads into some large cypress trees, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cypress knees sticking out of the ground. It’s like being in Cappadocia, but the fairy towers are made of roots. It’s pretty amazing!

07. If you could visit any nature spot in the world, what would it be? Tell us why.

My idea of nature is rocks and water. Any place I visit I’m always looking around for a runoff near a dam so I can study the evolution of rock layers, and also collect some fossils. This is the main reason I want to go to the Grand Canyon. For many people it’s just about scenery, but I look at the site from an anthropological standpoint. I want to see and experience 3 billion years of evolution and this exactly what the Grand Canyon represents.

08. Each blogger has gained their own insight into writing a blog. What have you learned that you would like to share with other bloggers?

Unless you’re a tech writer, blogging should never just be about SEO and Pagerank. You have to write for yourself and your readers, and you should never apologize for anything you say. Your blog is a representation and extension of yourself and your opinions, so if you can’t express yourself honestly, what will set you apart? The most successful bloggers never follow rules, just like the best chefs in the world never follow recipes (when I owned restaurants I never did).

09. Where can our readers find you? Give us the name and a link to your blog. If you have more than one to share, we would all like that too.

These days I spend most of my time on Ancient Digger (http://www.ancientdigger.com). I have two other blogs, but they have taken a backseat because of my hectic schedule. However, if you are into offbeat news or travel, you can check out http://www.friendsrevolution.com or http://www.the-travel-sphere.com

10. Is there anything we have not discussed that you would like to add?

This past year has been a huge adventure for me. I was accepted into Teach for America, and I was supposed to move to TN on June 3rd, but I recently found out that my father has cancer. When things like this happen you start to question everything about your choices, especially about your future. My path was determined, and now I have been presented with an entirely new one. I don’t know what the future holds for me now, but I do know this. When you are trying to make something work (love, life, work, etc), and everything is working against you, chances are the universe it trying to tell you something.

Lauren, thank you for taking a nature walk with us. Your way of looking at nature of the past is fascinating. The next thing we will do is visit your blog and see what we can learn from the past.

 Do you write a nature related blog and you'd like to be interviewed by Nature Center Magazine? Click the link and let us know who you are and that you'd like to be featured in a Nature Walk: Interview Me.


  1. I like the bit about not following rules in blogging. I'm going to keep that bit of information in mind.

    1. You are a bit stuffy about following rules. It will be a good thing for you to keep in mind.

    2. Yes Don, you must. I have come to the conclusion that not following rules actually allows my blog to grow. When I try and just focus on stats, content length and keywords, the content just sounds unfriendly so to speak. I write for my readers and I don't just stick to one topic.

  2. I have known Lauren on another writing site, and she is a great friend when we were still touching base on our blogs!

    I am so glad for her on the success of Ancient Digger. I love the part when she said about SEO and page rank, and completely agree with her on this.

    Also, her respond in the last part of this interview is awesome..Again, I completely agree!

    Way to go, Lauren!

    1. The Ancient Digger is such an interesting blog. Lauren always has the latest news from the past.

    2. Thanks ladies.


      It has been a while. It has been extremely hard for me to comment and get around to my old stopping grounds. I'm getting ready for graduate school actually. The committee decides this week on my Ph.D standing. I need to come over and see what you've been up to.

  3. Emma

    Thanks again for letting me share my own personal perspective about nature, and how I tie anthropology into every thing I do. Your site is such a wonderful model for anyone who wants to read about, study, or even be an advocate for the environment.

    1. Thank you for the comment. It is bloggers like you who have made a difference in the world of nature. All of you bring your own experiences and insights to give a well-rounded education about our world. We thank you for sharing.

  4. I visited Lauren's blog and was very,very impressed with the very interesting information she shares.

    Thanks Emma for featuring this wonderful blog!

    1. This has been a very exciting time for the people who are interested in things of the past. Lauren has all the latest news about these finds.


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