PhD student at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University, UMR 8215 Trajectoires, UMR 7041 ArScAn (Dir. Françoise Bostyn et Haris Procopiou)

PhD topic: Functional analysis of Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age stone bracers in Western Europe (2500-1800 BC). Technological, experimental and use-wear crossed approaches.

Doctoral research program

This PhD thesis in archaeology deals with the functional identification of Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age stone bracers in Western Europe(ca. 2500-1800 BC). Found in a wide south-western half of the continent, these artifacts show a heterogeneous spatial distribution; in this they follow the geographical extension of the Bell Beaker phenomenon and its peripheries. In the course of the history of research, the functional identification of these stone plates with holes at both ends oscillates between consensus and dissensus periods. The path of my thesis explores several working hypotheses stemming from the historiography while staying attentive to other possibilities. It also raises the issues of plurifunctionality and functional trajectory of these items through time and cultural spaces. The proposed methodology links together three technological, experimental and use-wear approaches. The study programme is interdisciplinary as it also involves natural and engineering sciences to understand the rocks performance. Archaeological integration of the results of the functional study will make it possible to propose a renewed vision of the individuals and societies of the bearers of these discussed stone plates and of the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age in Europe.


Bell Beaker-Early Bronze Age, Lithic, Techno-functional analysis, Experimental archaeology, Personal and cultural identities, History of research


  • 2017-2020: Master’s degree, Research in Archaeology, path “Milieux et Sociétés de la Préhistoire”, Aix-Marseille University, with distinction
  • 2014-2017: Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Archaeology, path Archaeology, Aix-Marseille University
  • 2013: General Baccalaureate, Scientific section, Engineering sciences, Lycée J. Cocteau, Miramas (Bouches-du-Rhône)


Vitani J. & Bailly M., 2022, “Stone Bracers in Continental Western Europe. New Insights from Bell Beaker and Early Bronze Age Contexts”, in Abegg C. et al. (ed.), The Bell Beaker Culture in All its Forms. 22nd Meeting of “Archéologie et Gobelets”, Geneva, January 21-22, 2021, Oxford, Archaeopress, accepted

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