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Cherbourg-Octeville is located at the mouth of the Divette and at the south of the bay between Cap Lévi to its east and Île du Grand Bé to its west. Cherbourg and Octeville-sur-Mer, each with approximately 43,000 inhabitants, are separated by a narrow strait (the "Divette"). The commune formed around an important Gallo-Roman port (known as Portus Namnetum), active from BC 69–BC 497; this port has been extensively excavated. Its commercial harbour was built immediately following their construction in 1764.