The temple is a large, complex structure containing many chambers and tunnels, some of which extend underground. Part of the temple functions as an atmospheric processor able to convert the toxic air of LV-223 into a breathable environment for humans. This was evidenced when, after David 8's observations, Holloway removed his helmet and was able to breathe normally within the temple.
The temple also has several chambers, which stores the Engineers' ships and the "urns" that contained the pathogen. Murals were seen in the temple, particularly in the "ampule room." When the Prometheus crew came the murals immediately changed. On one strange mural it showed what appeared to have figures in the background. When Holloway inspected the mural, he noticed a green crystal on a platform in front of the mural. Another showed an Engineer with his hand on either an alien creature, a deformed Engineer, or perhaps the alien in the giant mural.
At some point approximately 2,000 years before, the Engineers stationed on LV-223 initiated a plan to wipe out humanity for reasons unknown by releasing the very substance they used to create the human race on Earth. However, they apparently lost control of the pathogen and led the Engineers there to die off. Four surviving Engineers took refuge within their ship and stored themselves within their ship's Hypersleep Chambers, but only one of them survived.
In 2089, archeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a star map among several unconnected ancient cultures within a cave during their expedition on the Isle of Skye. They interpret this as an invitation from the Engineers. Shaw then contacted Peter Weyland, the elderly CEO of Weyland Corporation, for a proposal in order to gain enough funding for an expedition to follow the star map. Weyland agrees with the proposal and funds the creation of the scientific vessel Prometheus to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223.
In 2093, after the Prometheus' two year voyage, the ship arrived on LV-223. The Prometheus crew explored the moon's surface where they came across the Engineer's structure. The crew entered the structure and discovered the bodies of some Engineers, as well as several "urns" stored within the structure. The crew's interference caused the pathogen stored within the "urns" to melt, A few crew members were exposed to the pathogen, and in the ensuing chaos most were killed. The android David successfully found the last living Engineer and informed Weyland, who was secretly aboard the ship the entire time. Weyland and his team went to the Engineers' ship to commune with the last Engineer however, upon waking; the Engineer decapitated David after a brief conversation and killed Weyland along with the entire party, save Shaw, who managed to escape.
The Engineer reactivated his ship and headed for Earth to carry out his original mission to wipe out the human race. The remaining crew later sacrificed themselves and the Prometheus to destroy the Engineer's ship. The Engineer survived and attacked Shaw within Prometheus' lifeboat, Shaw released the Trilobite she had extracted earlier from her womb as the result of intercoursing with Holloway who was infected by the pathogen, which restrains and impregnates the Engineer while Shaw escapes. Shaw recovers David's remains from the crashed Engineer ship, the two activate another Engineer ship and leave LV-223 for the Engineer homeworld.
- All the murals were made by H. R. Giger.
- Another structure of similar type is seen in some background shots. Shaw is seen driving toward the other temple in one of the final shots of the film.