Madaba and Mt. Nebo are also famous for their mosaics, with Madaba home to the world's oldest mosaic map. On the mount, the major mosaic measures some 27 square meters, depicting wine-making (a monastic past time), as well as hunters and a variety of animals. Outside the building is a serpentine cross, often seen in pictures of the site. The sculpture represents the bronze serpent taken by Moses in the desert and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.
Nebo's highest peak is 800 meters above the Belqa plateau with surrounding
mountains all over 700 meters. Siyagha sits some 710m on the western
side and al-Mukhayyat rises to 790m on the southeast. Year round,
streams flow from the mountains' sides.
A convent was built in that same year by the Custody of the Holy Land to house an archaeological expedition from Jerusalem's Studium Biblicum Franciscanum as they excavated the Siyagha ruins in the summer of 1933. The convent, having grown in size over the years, is now also used as a retreat by the Franciscans.
Nearby gardens have been developed to allow neighboring Christian communities a place to reflect and pray. Franciscan Fr Jerome Mihaic, the convent's founder and largely responsible for the initial sanctuary restoration, is buried in the interior courtyard of the little friary atop Mount Nebo.
The prime purpose of the excavations and restorations at Siyagha has been, according to the Franciscans, to preserve the site for future generations and bring new life to a sanctuary constructed by Christians in ancient times to honor the Prophet Moses.
Since 1976, a liturgical feast of Moses is held each year on 4 September. Local Christians, priests and laity, join with the Franciscans. Notably included is representation from Madaba, upon whose Bishop the Nebo sanctuary depended juridically in ancient times.
According to the Franciscans, Giovanni Fantoni of Florence created the liturgical implements and decorations made from hammered metal that are in the sanctuary, as well as the monument just outside its door.